Medical Alert Canine Scent Detection Training Services

Our training plays a vital role in assisting individuals with various medical conditions, including PTSD, anxiety disorders,  allergies, including food allergies such as peanuts, diabetes, seizures, migraines, and more. Learn more about our training process and how your dog can make a difference in your life.

Services Offered:

  1. PTSD Assistance: Training dogs to recognize, alert and provide comfort and support to individuals experiencing PTSD symptoms, helping them manage anxiety and navigate daily life.
  2. Anxiety Disorders: Trained to recognize signs of anxiety, our dogs offer grounding techniques to cope with stressful situations.
  3. Allergen Detection: Our dogs can sniff out allergens like peanuts, alerting individuals and minimizing allergic reactions.
  4. Diabetic Alert: Trained to detect changes in blood sugar levels, our dogs provide early warnings to individuals with diabetes, which can supplement regular glucose monitoring.
  5. Seizure Alert: Training dogs to sense changes in body chemistry before a seizure, giving valuable time to prepare and seek assistance.
  6. Migraine Detection: Dogs trained in migraine detection can alert individuals to oncoming migraines, sometimes before an aura or when no aura is present. With earlier notification, migraine sufferers can take medication sooner to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve relief measures.
  7. And much more! If your condition isn’t listed, contact us to see how our services could help you.

Training Process:

  • Customized Training: Tailored training to meet the specific needs of individuals and their medical conditions.
  • Positive Reinforcement: We use positive reinforcement techniques to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment, using the latest techniques in evidence-based canine scent detection. We’ll explore your options for motivational rewards, including food, toys and play.
  • Ongoing Support: We provide follow-up private training, guidance, and access to our private Facebook group for troubleshooting, discussion and support.

Your Instructor: Dr. Carla Simon, BSc, MD, a professional detection dog trainer with 20+ years of experience. With a background in medicine and behaviour assessment, Carla offers valuable insight into working with both healthcare professionals and service dog owners.

Medical Scent Work Classes

Puppies Playing

Medical Alert Scent Detection: Levels 1 – 3

Level 1: Medical alert scent detection foundation – start motivating your dog to search and work with you, develop a cooperative system of clear communication, train your dog to find your unique human handler scent and learn the foundation of systematic searches. You’ll learn how to take samples of your medical scent, keep a journal and prepare for the next level of training.

Level 2: Using the samples you collected during level 1, you’ll begin imprinting on the specific medical condition scent. You will learn why and how to select a Trained Final Response, e.g. sitting, lying down, barking, nose nudging, etc. You will begin indication training using.

Level 3: Refining searching and indication skills and bringing all the components together, with the goal of passing double-blind container searches (the gold standard for scientifically defensible scent detection quality assurance). Once training is completed, teams will need to generalize their skills to a wide variety of environments where work will be performed. Medical alert dogs require a minimum of 8 hours of maintenance training per week for the duration of their career in order to maintain their skills at an acceptable level.


  • Classes are conducted on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm or 7:30 pm.
  • 60-minute sessions for 7 weeks, with a maximum of 5 teams per class.
  • No prerequisites or previous experience is required, but dogs must be appropriately socialized and comfortable working in a busy class environment with strange people. There will not be any dog-dog interaction. We will not be working on obedience, public access, distraction training or generalization to environments outside of container searches.
  • All dogs must search on a buckle collar or non-tightening tracking harness; there is zero tolerance for aversive gear such as choke, shock, prong, pinch, martingale collars or slip leads.
  • Fees are non-refundable. Class dates may be subject to change due to instructor availability.
  • Online course, support, troubleshooting, and coaching included
  • Suitable for dogs of all ages, breeds, and abilities.
  • Puppies should have had at least their second set of vaccinations.


Tuesdays – 6:00PM




Can my pet dog do this?

Yes. If your dog enjoys sniffing and food rewards, they’ll likely do well. 

Will this certify my dog as a service or therapy dog in Alberta?

No. This class only trains scent detection of one target odour associated with a medical condition such as anxiety or hypoglycemia. This scent detection is only one task out of a large set of skills that service dogs are expected to perform. Whether your dog becomes a service dog or not, you may find it helpful for them to alert you to the presence of the target odour in your home.

What does the provincial government require for certification of a service dog?

In Alberta, service dogs are subject to voluntary certification by the Alberta provincial government. Learn more about service dogs in Alberta at

Where do I start for Service Dog training?

Ideally, service dog training begins by selecting an appropriate candidate. Contact us for an assessment. Hunter’s Heart offers weekly Service Dog Classes in Calgary, as well as private instruction. Email [email protected] for more information.