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 Post subject: Peanut Detector Dogs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 1070
Location: Kingston
Have you ever heard of peanut-detector dogs? These are special breeds of dogs specially trained to recognize the scent of minuscule amounts of peanuts, pretty much like those trained to sniff explosives or narcotics. ... r_dogs.php

Here is another site:

Duncan is the dog who sniffs out peanuts on this site:


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:44 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
Dogs have been used to sense an epileptic seizure event before it happens and there has been some talk of them being able to smell cancerous cels (I heard about this years ago but not receelntly unsure what became of it).

I'm sure some could be trained to smell 1/8000th of a peanut.

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Posts: 1
Location: Florence, TX

I'm Leslie, one of the Peanut Dog trainers at Southern Star Ranch in Florence, Texas. (You can reach us toll free at 1-877-596-6835) I thought I'd take a moment to tell you:
1. Yes, the dogs in our program are able to easily detect remarkably minute amounts of peanuts and peanut products (if a peanut has been placed on a table, and then removed, my dog will tell you, thereby protecting a person with the allergy).
2. Our dogs can be trained to alert on a good DOZEN other allergens (ie, tree nuts, seeds, etc).
3. Yes, dogs have been able to successfully detect cancer in humans (A great book which speaks of this, as well as how animals help people in so many ways, is called - and I hope I have this right! - Paws and Effect and I BELIEVE the author's last name is Sakson)

Now, since there is some interest on this web site, and I've seen quite a bit of interest in other areas online, I would like to take the opportunity to, from my perspective, discuss the purpose and training of, and the joy, comfort and help received from the Peanut Dogs.

OBVIOUSLY, I think they are all great and absolutely love my job because of the chance not only to work with these intelligent, fun and fun-loving dogs - but also to have the opportunity fulfill one of my life-long goals: to train dogs for a "higher purpose."

Currently, the web site is under construction and may not be running as it should be at this time. Hopefully, it is... but just in case...

We have been involved in training detection dogs for years and years; we were contacted by a mother of a boy who has a severe peanut allergy about the possibility of training a dog to detect peanuts. With years of experience in detection work as well as obedience, we leapt at the opportunity as we knew that such a service animal would provide such security to the people involved. The training was a huge success and so, was born.

In addition to socialization and obedience training, the Peanut Dogs get extensive training in the area of detection work such that they can detect the most minute amount of peanut, residue and peanut products - in any form. By the end of the training, our dogs are able to unobtrusively search items (ie, tables, chairs, door knobs, microwaves, etc), people and/or their clothing, entire rooms and plates of food for peanut products. They become vested service dogs, and accompany their person anywhere: schools, restaurants, malls, buses, movie theaters, etc.

The hardest part of my job is when I introduce food for the dogs to search. That's right; with a peanut dog, you will be able to present a plate of food to him or her and the dog, without touching, tasting or drooling, will search the plate in a matter of moments and let you know if it has any form of peanut in it. (Never fear, if you can't stomach the idea of a dog sniffing your plate of food, you can cover it and the dog can still search effectively) Anyway, as I was saying, this is the most difficult part of the training for both me and the dog; imagine trying to convince a dogs that the plates of fried chicken isn't worth a taste. After they learn that the food is off limits for tasting, then I must make them realize that it isn't even drool-worthy. :lol: Not an easy task I assure you but loads of patience on my part, a willingness to please and learn on the dogs part and many, many, MANY training sessions accomplish this task.

The “Peanut Dogs” are excellent for anyone, and are allowing children a new-found independence. These confident and disciplined working dogs, trained to be comfortable in and accustomed to all environments, will accompany you or your child to schools, restaurants and other public places, quietly alerting you to possible danger. Friendly and well socialized, they can be asked to greet guests at the front door of your home (or anywhere, actually) and discreetly scan them for peanut residue in order to minimize the chance of contamination.

In addition to working for you, the peanut detector dog will be a loving, trust-worthy and devoted companion to you and your family. Trainee candidates are carefully selected, tested and screened for temperament and characteristics that will allow them to be both a working dog and a family companion. It's very difficult to find just the right candidate. Typically, the breeds most commonly used for peanut detection are Labs, Goldens and Standard Poodles, or a mixed breed. Poodles and some poodle mixes can be owned by people whom otherwise cannot have a dog, as they do not shed and are dander free.

It takes a minimum of six months to fully train a Peanut Dog. The amount of time is determined by the dog - we have no set time limit. We are going to work with each individual dog until we are absolutely pleased with his or her accuracy, work ethic, social skills, etc. If you need a dog to alert to a number of allergens, it may increase the training time, but only slightly.

We are aware that every person is different, and every dog responds a bit differently to each individual; we try very hard to fit the right dog to the right person. We also realize that a lot of people who decide to get a Peanut Dog may never have previously owned a dog and most will have never owned and handled a working dog. That's why we're here; we teach the person how to handle the dog such that the dog will continue to happily search. These dogs may be "working dogs" but they do what they do because they think it's a GAME and they LOVE to play.

When it's time for the dog to go to his or her new home and owner/family, trainers from Southern Star Ranch spend at least 7 to 14 days of intensive training with each client during which time each receive a detailed "owner's manual" as well as our phone number to contact us with questions and concerns as they arise. By the end of this period, it's rare that the dog and person aren't already working well together as a team.

Soon, we should be on Good Morning America. A film crew has spent a day filming us with a few of our dogs and we have been told that we will be on an upcoming show. As soon as I have a date, I'll post it here.

Trainer of Peanut Dogs
(as well as other detector dogs!)

 Post subject: Peanut Dog
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:39 am
Posts: 1
Location: Sudbury, MA
Hi Mary -
Are you in MA? I spoke to Sharon Perry last evening and she mentioned talking to someone in Kingston MA about a peanut dog. I am in Sudbury MA. I am considering a peanut dog for my son but have so many questions about the social and psychological implications. I would LOVE to talk to another family about this. I can be reached at

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