Celiac Service Dog/Gluten Detection Training Standards
Allergen Detection Training Standards
All of Willow Service Dogs L.L.C. dogs are trained above and beyond the minimum requirements recommended by ADA and IAADP for Service Dogs.
All Willow Service Dogs L.L.C. dogs are tested on task and scent work prior to graduating from the program. The standards for the Celiac Service Dog or Allergen Service Dog scent work upon completion for the program are as follows:
During the testing process the dog will be evaluated on food items, medicine, and hygiene products such as lotion, toothpaste, and makeup. The items may be spread throughout the 3 areas of testing to be conducted.
The Celiac Service Dog will be tested individually on wheat, barley, and rye to ensure the dog is hitting across the entire spectrum of all the dangers a Celiac person may encounter.
The Allergen Detection Service Dog will be tested individually on the allergen(s) trained ensure the dog is hitting across the entire spectrum of all the dangers their handler may encounter.
The Gluten Detection Service Dog will need to be able to conduct a room search locating three scent items:
One item will be a large gluten-containing food such as a slice of bread, piece of pizza, or a pastry.
The second item will be a medium gluten source such as a cracker, candy bar, or cookie.
The third scent item will be gluten crumbs on a piece of tape.
All scent articles for the test will be hidden in a manner so that scent can escape and all search tests will be conducted in a gluten free environment (as much as this is possible to control). The search will be performed warm to hot with a minimum of 15 minutes for scent pooling.
The Allergen Detection Service Dog will need to be able to conduct a room search locating three scent items:
One item will be a large allergen-containing food.
The second item will be a medium allergen source.
The third scent item will be trace allergen on a piece of tape.
All scent articles for the test will be hidden in a manner so that scent can escape and all search tests will be conducted in an allergen-free environment (as much as this is possible to control). The search will be performed warm to hot with a minimum of 15 minutes for scent pooling.
This test may be conducted in a gluten or gluten-free (allergen or allergen-free) environment.
The Gluten or Allergen Detection Service Dog must have a Controlled Search™, meaning it must be able to check individual items in a gluten and gluten free (or allergen and allergen-free) environment. The Gluten or Allergen Detection Service Dog must further be able to check medication, hygiene products, and trace amounts of gluten (or allergen) to mimic cross contamination situations.
The Gluten or Allergen Detection Service Dog must have an obvious indication to gluten (or allergen) through body language. The dog must also have a separate indication for gluten-free/allergen-free all clear.
The dog will be given 10 items to check for the Controlled Search™ with a minimum of four and no more than five containing gluten or allergen.
At least one item will be a contaminated gluten-free / allergen-free food.
At least one item must be from a barley or rye base for the Gluten Detection Service Dog.
The dog must not fail to alert on gluten or allergen, however, one false alert on non-gluten/non-allergen will be accepted as cross contamination can happen easily.
Public Product Check
This test is to ensure the Gluten or Allergen Detection Service Dog is able to perform in a gluten or allergen environment with all the distractions of public areas.
This test will be conducted in a grocery store or restaurant, with necessary precautions to avoid exposure by the disabled handler to gluten or allergen. The Service Dog being evaluated must conduct itself in an acceptable manner as recommended by ADA and IAADP at all times during the test.
Seven items will be pulled from the store shelves for the dog to check. The products can be anything from food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, or even dishes and toys.
Two of the products chosen must be known gluten-containing or allergen-containing items to ensure the dog is indicating correctly.
The dog’s alert behavior or all-clear behavior must not damage any products being checked. As a courtesy to the establishment and other customers, it is strongly recommended that any products being checked that the dog physically comes into contact with are purchased.
The dog may false alert on gluten free or allergen free in this environment, however, the dog should be given the product two times with two consistent indications in a row to determine if the product has been contaminated.
The dog must not free indicate on products, it must perform a Controlled Search™.
The dog must stay focused and be able to respond to the handler’s commands.
If the dog becomes distracted, the handler must be able to refocus the dog within one minute.
Each element of the meal will be brought in a separate container for the dog to check allowing the handler to still enjoy a meal if one item is contaminated.
The dog will check each item without spilling or making a mess. The dog’s alert behavior or all-clear behavior must not damage any items.
The dog must remain focused. If the dog becomes distracted, the handler must be able to refocus the dog within one minute.
These gluten and allergen detection test standards were based upon the original gluten detection standards first published here, and have been augmented and agreed upon by (Founders of O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc.):
Christina de Juan, PhD - Professional Service Dog Trainer, Luna Service Dogs Inc.
Deborah Ith - Professional Service Dog Trainer, Butler Service Dogs LLC
Alicia Picon - Junior Dog Trainer, The Service Dog Life
Dawn Scheu - Professional Service Dog Trainer, Willow Service Dogs LLC
Jillian Skalky - Professional Dog Trainer, Creating New Tails LLC
Cyndy Smith - Professional Service Dog Trainer, Michigan Service Dogs LLC
These standards have been written and agreed upon by:
Dawn Scheu - Professional Service Dog Trainer - Willow Service Dogs L.L.C.
Deborah Ith - Service Dog Trainer - Butler Service Dogs L.L.C.
Cyndy Smith - Service Dog Trainer - Michigan Service Dogs L.L.C.
Jillian Skalky - Professional Trainer - Creating New Tails
Controlled Search™ Defined
The Controlled Search™ as referred to herein is a specific method developed by Dawn Scheuof presenting a sample to a dog for the dog to determine whether it contains the trained odor (gluten or allergen). This differs from the methods long used in scientific research, which generally use a line up, a scent wall/wheel, or a match to sample. By training a dog to only indicate (allergen is present or absent) on items being presented, this enables the dog to work in an odor-filled environment like a restaurant or grocery store.
Scent Detection Service Dog Standards
Founding member of O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc., a new nonprofit organization setting the standards for scent training and reliability in service dogs.