Skip to content

Dog trained to sniff out gluten – WZZM

Dog trained to sniff out gluten

Valerie Lego, WZZM 7:21 p.m. EST November 19, 2014


Willow the gluten sniffing dog(Photo: WZZM)


(WZZM) -- It's hard to imagine not being able to go to the grocery store because you're afraid of a life threatening allergic reaction, but unfortunately it's a reality for some Americans.

Now finding a way to live a normal life may be as easy as adopting a dog.

"She gave me my life back, "Dawn Scheu has Celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten allergy. "The last time I got contaminated it was ten weeks." 10 weeks in and out of the hospital that nearly cost her her life.

But now she has Willow a gluten sniffing dog.

In Dawn's desperation for a normal life she went in search of a trainer willing to train a dog to sniff out gluten. "I called 18 companies and trainers before I called Kathy and Kathy said she would try it."

At first even Kathy Watters had her doubts. "My thoughts were if there's gluten everywhere how am I going to train it. It's in your bird food it's in your bug spray it's in the Ziploc baggy. The glue."

But despite the odds Willow proved she had a nose for it. "It was like a month though and we knew we had It," says Watters.

And only another six months before Dawn could start enjoying life. "I can travel I can go out to eat I can do things that I couldn't do before."

And being the smart dog that she is, Willow even sniffed out an idea for a new business. "This can help so many people and the service dog world as well."

And that's how Dawn and Kathy started Nosey Dog Detection Partners. "We'll try anything. What's the worst that could happen? No it didn't work or the best thing, yes it did work," says Watters.

Of course they never expected their first client to ask for a red dye 40 sniffing dog. But once again they found success.

Eight year old Elizabeth Martin's allergy to red dye 40 is so severe she can't be around markers, crayons or anything red another child has used or eaten without her Epipen. "When she was four she started having a lot of the allergic reactions her lips swelling her tongue swelling." Elizabeth's mom Cynthia is hoping Skittles the red dye 40 sniffing dog will change that for Elizabeth.

The downside is service dogs aren't cheap; they can run from $15,000 to $50,000.

But Dawn and Kathy have come up with a way to make them more affordable by helping families train their own dog and it's working for Cynthia. "We come to class one to two times a week we work on obedience we work on the on scent training."

It takes about six months and a lot of patience but Cynthia says it's worth it.

Dawn and Kathy also want to start training dogs for Veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome. They hope to get enough donations so that no vet has to pay for their dog.

Here's a link if you're interested in learning more about Nosey-Dog Detection Partners.


Read or Share this story:


<small>Powered by WPeMaticosmall>

Related Posts

  • Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats: 8 Breeds That Are Friendly And Gentle To Felines – Parent Herald By Ellainie Calangian / Mar 22, 2016 06:10 AM EDT Tags : Pet Owners, dog owners, cat owners, veterinarians, children (Photo : Mike Thomas/Express Newspapers/Getty Images) Dog owner Becky Jones pets four year-old labrador Chubby Charlie in Northfield Birmingham, United Kingdom, […]
  • How Dogs Think Have you ever seen a device or a program designed to correct a dog behavior problem that explained how smart dogs are and how they think? Most plans or gadgets enable owners, literally, to declare war on their hapless pets. Little or no concern is afforded to what the dogs happen to […]
  • Interested in Becoming a Dog Trainer? – TWC News David Wilbert always had a way with animals and decided to give up practicing law to work with dogs and open Sit Means Sit dog training, focusing on a fundamental philosophy. "Sit Means Sit is an attention based dog training system.  We don't believe you can teach a dog anything […]
  • Exposed: The dog training firm exploiting the vulnerable – Some animals supplied for round-the-clock assistance for paralysed people, diabetics and extreme allergy sufferers were not even fit to fetch a ball. Ex-trainer Janne Kovaljeff, 43, described his time at Irish-based SDE as "horrifying" as he revealed how one dog was so ill it died […]
  • What a dog trainer can and cannot do for you – Share Pin Share Tumble Saved Combined comments & shares on social media Some of the problems a lot of dog owners have with their trainers are related to a misunderstanding of what it is a trainer can and can't do. It's important when you go into anything, even something as […]