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Peanut detector dogs are here!

Posted on April 19th, 2008 by Alison Read 8 Comments - Add Your Own »

dog_nose1.jpgA dog that can sniff out peanuts — yes, it’s true! In Texas they are training dogs to detect peanuts to keep peanut-allergic people safe. In addition to accompanying you to public places, your dog can sniff guests who enter the home and “discreetly scan them for peanut residue in order to minimize the chance of contamination.”

I think this is a great idea, especially for peanut-allergic kids who (unfortunately) always need someone to scan their environment to make sure it is safe. Who wouldn’t want the extra protection? Unless you don’t like dogs or are not a dog-person, like me (boo, hiss! — sorry, when you grow up with asthma and allergies, dog hair plastered to your clothing and being licked in the face aren’t the most appealing things!) I think even I might consider a dog if it meant keeping my child safe. What do you think — good idea?

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  1. what a fantastic idea!

  2. I would like to have a dog who can sniff out gluten. As a working dog I could even take him/her into restaurants to check my food for hidden gluten. At a potluck, I would know what I could eat. Only problem I see is that the dog may take a bite or two of the food first 😉

    A peanut dog sounds good to me. The site mentioned that if you don’t want shedding, get a poodle.

  3. I am one of the trainers of Peanut Detecting Dogs in Florence, Texas. Having trained dogs for over 25 years, I am so excited about being involved with training these specialized service dogs! Yes, our dogs are able to detect PEANUTS in any form, in even the most minute amounts… in raw or cooked in food, on clothes, anywhere!

    We work with lots of standard poodles because people who can’t handle dog dander and/or hair can sometimes handle this breed – for instant, people with asthma! (No hairy clothes, Alison, but I can’t truly guarantee no doggie kisses!!)

    Actually, we can train for other food allergies from tree nuts to gluten (Anne, I didn’t want you to feel left out!) I”ll tell you, the most difficult part of the training IS to teach the dog not to steal, taste or drool on the plates of food – but each and every dog does get over these temptations!

    Our dogs never cease to amaze me in their enthusiasm and their abilities! Not only are they incredible detector dogs, they are obedient, vested service animals able to accompany their owner to restaurants, schools, malls, anywhere! Plus, they are devoted family pets! As a mother of two children (now adults) who had serious medical problems (not food allergies), I know how it feels to always be on the lookout for help, hope and protection for our children. That’s why training these dogs, which provide all three – help, hope and protection – as well as independence to children, is one of my proudest accomplishments and greatest reward.

    For more information (and I believe a testimonial from one of our clients), see our web site: You can contact me through that web site.

    (Oh! We also welcome inquiries from children doing school projects/reports!! Just ask for me!)

  4. Wow, you’re right! Peanut-detecting dogs sure does sound like a good idea.

    …I was under the impression that chocolate and dogs don’t mix though, so is Reeses out of the picture?

  5. Wow Leslie,
    You can do other food allergies too… even gluten?? Incredible!

  6. A peanut sniffing dog would be such a miracle for our family. Gwen loves dogs but has been allergic. We’re not quite sure if its the dander or the saliva though. I’m wondering if anyone reading these entries has had any experience with identifying which is the allergen: The hair or the saliva?

  7. Hi Sharon,
    In my quick research, it looks like people can be allergic to the saliva and/or the dander, but that there are dogs that in general cause less allergies. Just as Leslie mentioned above, poodles seem the safest because they shed less. Interesting that the only dog I did have as a kid was a poodle!

  8. The saliva makes my son’s skin turn into red blisters. We have wanted to get our three children a dog. This just seems out of our price range. I had heard of Labradoodles. I also heard they are very expensive. Having a dog that would sniff our guests fingers for peanut residue and being nonallergenic for my son would be a wonderful asset. I homeschool. The stress of getting together with others, vacations, and trips to the park is very overwhelming. You just never know when it can turn into a hospital visit instead. This type of dog would really take a lot of stress out of my life.
    What a gift.
    God bless,

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