Dogs to alert for peanut - The Diana Project

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By Joy R on Wed, 09-14-05, 15:52

Dogs to Alert Owners to Peanuts
The Diana Project: This is an experimental project to train dogs to detect peanuts and alert the handler. If you have a dog, you can use your own dog to participate in the project if your dog tests as being suitable. If you do not have a dog, we have one Giant Schnoodle of Joy puppy left who has tested as a great sniffer dog and service dog. Service dogs in the USA can go anywhere the public can go. They can go on buses, planes, restaurants, hospitals etc. They can always be with their handler. We are hoping to develop this project to keep kids & adults safe and give them some independence. So far we have a prominent San Diego Allergist and his wife who does cancer detection with dogs who are interested in considering the project. We plan to have trainers around the country who will follow our protocol and help you train your dog to protect you and your children.

Hello everyone, I am Joy de la Ren, I am the originator of the Diana Project and the originator of the breed of dog Giant Schnoodles of Joy and. This is a hybrid standard poodle and giant schnauzer. They have been found to be very allergy friendly to most allergy sufferers. They are bred for service and are extremely trainable and loyal.

The Diana Project came about from one of my puppy parents.
Here is Martha s story:
We had two children in the seventies, Frank and Diana. Frank is living in Tennessee. Diana died in 1991 of anaphylactic shock after inadvertently eating peanuts. The candy was mislabeled. Diana was 15, our beautiful golden girl, my best friend in all the world. The shock of losing her nearly killed all of us. It was over two years later that it occurred to me that I might live after all. Eventually God grew tired of me feeling sorry for myself. That is the only explanation I have for the fact that in late '94 I found myself pregnant, and July 25, 1995 gave birth to healthy twins at age 50! Grant and Elizabeth are the best thing that could have happened to us.
When my twins were ready for kindergarten I discovered that the only way to keep them both safe was to homeschool them. They are both allergic to peanuts as well, and the people at school just were not going to take that seriously. The kids are 10, in fifth grade, and both testing several years above their grade level. I do not know how long we will homeschool, but so far it has been good. We do most of our work in the dining room, right next to the foyer where our puppy will be, so our newest family member will be right next to us all day.
We are all so excited about the puppy. I have the veterinarian all lined up, first appointment on the 22nd. We have the crate, a bed, and toys, a couple of leashes, a collar. I will try not to buy out Petsmart.

Our best to you and all the furry friends. Martha

With the help of the protocols of specialists, I have been doing extensive testing to find the right dog that can be trained to sniff traces of peanuts in food. We found 2 dogs in this litter who were suitable for service sniffer dogs. One went to Martha & one I still have. During my process of finding & testing the perfect dog to keep Martha s kids safe, some world-renowned people have become interested and are looking at studying the viability of training dogs for this purpose. I can t give their names yet, but a well known allergist is suggesting we bring in a bio chemist and we will be looking for funding to study the viability of this project which will be named the Diana Project after Martha s daughter. They have set up new protocols for testing and while they have been exhausting me, I have learned so much and the prospect is exciting. We hope to save lives & give kids freedom to go places without their parents having to be with them to keep them safe. Although I always temperament test my puppies, this is the most extensive testing I ve ever done on my puppies. It is amazing what you can tell at this young age. Puppies were born July 1 2005. Also, I believe in early training. My puppies are All potty trained by 6 weeks.. They are trained: no bites give kisses.
If you are interested in participating in the Diana project please contact Joy [email][/email] .

Picture: Zoe Amore

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By pixiegirl on Wed, 09-14-05, 16:05


What cute little puppies! I so wish I could try doing this my almost 14 year old daughter is so allergic, she has airborne reactions. However I currently have a trained hearing dog (self trained) that sadly is dog aggressive to other dogs on our property and in the house (queen bee type). I'd really give anything to try this.

Well I wanted to say good luck and I'll keep in touch for the future.


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By Joy R on Thu, 09-15-05, 06:33

Hi, I'm so glad you responded. What breed is your hearing dog? I also have a little mini poodle. I have timers set up all around my house so I don't forget to do things like turn the pool water off or when I'm cooking etc. Little Tara Rose comes and gets me when the timer rings. If I don't go and do whatever right away, she nags me til I turn the pool off etc. She's so funny!
Tara was a rescue that I planned to train as a hearing dog and then just couldn't bring myself to part with. Anyway I posted more about the Diana project on the main board of this forum. If you know of anyone else who might be interested, please feel free to give them my email address. [email][/email] Puppy love from Joy & furry folk

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By pixiegirl on Thu, 09-15-05, 11:17

My dog is an Airedale Terrier, very smart but some say difficult to train. In my experience that is not the case at all (I've had 4 of them), they are fun loving dogs, that love kids and are easy to train with treats. Every Airedale I've ever had is a chow hound so having the work for food is pretty easy.

She alerts me to all sorts of sounds, doorbell, teapot, phone, smoke detector, car in driveway, UPS man, burgler alarm, the "ding" of my messenger, squirrels(!) She was easy to train for all this but she was never trained for sounds outside the home (like cars, etc.) I do take her out of course but not for her to work, just for long walkies.

Daisy is now almost 9 and has changed my life in so many positive ways.


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By on Thu, 09-15-05, 17:26

Quote:Originally posted by Joy R:
[b]Service dogs in the USA can go anywhere the public can go. They can go on buses, planes, restaurants, hospitals etc. They can always be with their handler. [/b]

While this statement is true (also in Canada) I would think the government would have to approve this as a service dog, specifically in the same catagory as dogs that help blind, and deaf people. Are dogs trained to work with/for autistic kids considered the same as more traditional sevice dogs?

Has this been approved in the US?


I'm not at all trying to dispute whether these dogs would be a useful to help keep a person safe. Personally, I wouldn't want a dog sniffing food before my child eats it - but maybe that's just me. [img][/img]

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By pixiegirl on Thu, 09-15-05, 18:03

Service dogs are allowed in the USA and there is no government ok for them. You can put a vest on your dog and take them in stores and restaurants. It is true that some places may refuse anything other then a dog for the blind (I know people with hearing dogs that have been turn down entry into a restaurant) but in truth its not legal for them to do so.

Because we don't have a set standard for assistance dogs and self training is allowed its really important for anyone who presents their dog as an assistant dog to be sure its totally trained and won't be bothersome in a restaurant, plane, or store.

I'm sure you've heard a dogs mouth is cleaner then a persons (its true google it), but I have to say if my dog could save my daughters life, I'd go for a little sniffing.


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By on Thu, 09-15-05, 23:27

As I said, maybe it's just me. [img][/img] (I don't want people sniffing my food either though.)

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By Joy R on Fri, 09-16-05, 07:04

Pixie Girl, Susan, is exactly right on USA laws re service dogs. I also agree with everything she said. I didn't know Canada has the equivilent to the ADA, but Canadians are generally pretty civilized. Re sniffing food. Let me put it this way, if it comes to a cook who has to go to work sick or well in a restaurant or a waiter serving you food who happens to have the flu which is contagious to humans, or a dog sniffing your food who has no diseases that would be contagious to humans and could save your daughters life, what would you choose? I think I want the dog to cook and serve my food come to think of it. Puppy love from JOy & furry folk

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By on Fri, 09-16-05, 13:27

Quote:Originally posted by Joy R:
[b] I didn't know Canada has the equivilent to the ADA, but Canadians are generally pretty civilized.[/b]

Something about the way you stated that really makes me laugh. [img][/img] I'm definitely not able to quote the laws, but there are access rights for people with disabilities. Businesses have to be wheel-chair accessible, and seeing eye dogs are allowed anywhere. I do remember there being an issue in the papers regarding hearing dogs. Someone was fighting for the same rights as owners of seeing dogs - and they did win it. It's possible (in Canada) that business owner's would have the right to refuse admittance to your dogs. I'm not sure, but I think so.

Quote: Re sniffing food. Let me put it this way, if it comes to a cook who has to go to work sick or well in a restaurant or a waiter serving you food who happens to have the flu which is contagious to humans, or a dog sniffing your food who has no diseases that would be contagious to humans and could save your daughters life, what would you choose?

Whether or not the cook is sick is totally off the topic. But, out of those two choices - I'll pick number three. I don't eat in restaurants. [img][/img] So, obviously, I'm not going to try to keep your dogs out of restaurants. I can see the use of them there. (Though, as I said, I wouldn't want the food.) But, I draw the line at sniffing grocery store food. No putting it back on the shelf after it's sniffed. [img][/img]

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By ElleMo on Fri, 09-16-05, 14:41

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
I'm not at all trying to dispute whether these dogs would be a useful to help keep a person safe. Personally, I wouldn't want a dog sniffing food before my child eats it - but maybe that's just me. [img][/img]

I agree. It doesn't seem sanitary to me. I see a lot of practical problems in regards to this.


Allergic to Shellfish
Mom to Jesse 2001, allergic to peanuts, legumes, chickpeas

Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

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By Joy R on Fri, 09-16-05, 15:39

I have been using a service dog since 1996. I have travelled extensively in the US & Canada. I use a wheelchair off and on. My dog pulls it. Accessabilitiy in Toronto subway is horrible, but Winnipeg has good curb cuts and some reasonable accessability. Wouldn't try it in winter. People are generally very kind in Canada and I've had very few problems. My main problem everywhere is getting anywhere because everyone wants to stop and talk to me about my dog. Anyway, using a swervice dog has its problems. PA has what I would say are far worse problems & some are more dangerous without a service dog. Of course you wouldn't have a dog sniff food in a grocery store and put it back. It goes back to what Susan is saying about people with service dogs being responsible with their service dogs. The ADA is about 15 years old now. Up to now most people have been very responsible with service animals. Except for some woman who took a 300 lb pig on a plane and said it was her service animal. But people and dogs are expected to be trained and behave responsibly or they ruin it for all alter abled people. And that's what we are. We can accomplish everything everyone can accomplish, we just do it in an altered way. I can certainly understand the yuck factor in someone who may not have grown up sharing their ice cream with dogs and a service dog wouldn't be for you. It would also send mixed messages to the dog as they are incredibly intuitive. But my feeling is that if we can save some kids, give them independence and reduce the worry of the parents its worth persuing. That being said, However, if I don't get a lot of support and if the energy isn't there in the PA community, the project will probably go by the wayside. I have one puppy left who tested as qulified for this project. I have 3 people interested in doing it. In about a week, I am going to let the puppy go to a pet home if I don't get a PA home. We won't get funding for such a small group. Its a lot of work. We have to set up protocols, train trainers all over the coutry, collect reports etc. The energy has to be there for the project to be viable. I am open to any suggestions or any board on which you would suggest I post. I'm giving it a try. If people want it, I'll help if they don't I'll go on to other things. LIke making a living lol. What do you think? Puppy love from Joy & furry folk

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By Rbutler05 on Mon, 02-28-11, 23:48

Hi. My name is Rachel and I have a 6 month old son who is highly allergic to peanuts. He is too young for an emergency pen. A peanut detective dog would be exactly what we need to keep him safe. However, we do not have the finaces to purchase one because I have to stay at home with him to keep him safe. Any information would help on what we can do to help fund for a peanut dog. Thank you!

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By katerpe on Mon, 03-21-11, 15:44

Hi! I am new today to the PA world. My daughter, 14months, had an an anaphylaxis reaction for the first time over the weekend. We are grateful she is alive and looking for support as we enter into this new world. We have a four year old lab. Do you think she could do this training?

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By MomX3 on Wed, 04-13-11, 00:15

Joy, I am so moved by your story and sad that you lost your daughter. My son is very vulnerable, as he responded to a unseen trace of a peanut product in his college class last week. Gratefully, he recovered, but we are terrified and a dog that could alert him would truly be a lifesaver. I am sending an email to contact you and hope your information posted here is still current. If I don't reach you, I will leave my contact info. in another post. Bless you for your work!

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By SarahLove on Fri, 04-22-11, 01:12

I just had my first allergic reaction on Sunday. I am trying to get all the research I can so I can be better prepared next time. I have a six year old weimaraner, very quick to learn. Is this something she can do to help me?

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By MomX3 on Fri, 04-22-11, 03:43

Altho I am new to this subject, what I have learned is that dogs used as peanut detectors are first trained as service dogs and need special qualities for this, plus there are abilities that are needed to be "sniffers." The upshot is that the dogs themselves are exceptional and the training is extensive. The dogs have to be designated service dogs in order to accompany their owners everywhere.

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