Also known as an Allergy Alert Dog, a Peanut Dog is not a dachsund wearing a tight belt, nor the newest flavor of dog treat, but rather a highly-trained service dog that uses scent tracking to save the lives of individuals suffering from deadly peanut allergies.
According to the October issue of Scholastic Choices, about 13 milion American children suffer from food allergies, with peanuts representing the fastest-growing subtype. The number of children allergic to peanuts doubled between 1997 and 2002.
But a new organization, Angel Service Dogs, has entered the market to apply a combination of dog training techniques from scent tracking and service dog training to create dedicated peanut dogs.
A peanut dog assists a child or adult suffering from peanut allergies much as a service dog would follow a visually-impaired individual. These dogs are highly environmentally stable, good natured and laidback – the very characteristics dog trainers would typically seek in a service dog.
Trained to detect even the faintest odor of peanuts, a peanut dog will alert his owner to the presence of danger. The dog isn’t a food taster – only the sense of smell is employed – and that’s a good thing, for merely inhaling peanut dust can trigger a violent allergic reaction in those afflicted with nut allergies.
Learn more about Angel Service Dogs, a non-profit organization based out of Monument, Colorado.