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Beware Gluten Detection Dog Scams

Picture of a facebook post selling celiac gluten detection service dogs.  This is a warning because you cannot train a service dog in 6 months.
Beware! You cannot train a service dog in 6 months

Training a gluten- or allergen-detection dog is a privilege, but it is also a lot of work. I have learned so much since I naively started training Suki in 2020. I made many mistakes, and I learned that I got lucky because, despite my ignorance about the subject, I found the correct resources and was able to train a gluten-detection dog successfully.

Unfortunately, I hear weekly of other people who have not been so lucky. People were sold a 6-month-old dog as a fully trained service dog who was not even trained in the basics. I have copied a post I pulled from Facebook that advertises the same thing. I heard of people whose dogs were trained with aversive methods who are living with extreme anxiety and cannot work in public. I learned of dogs whose energy levels did not match the handler's lifestyle and needs.

I want to ensure that people seeking information about gluten-detection dogs receive the knowledge they need to make the right decisions about training a service dog. I am working on additional resources that will make this possible. I also want to provide an opportunity for people to hear directly from top trainers in the field. I will be hosting regular events with the top trainers on my Instagram.

Avoid the Scams

Here are some quick watch-outs to follow in the meantime:

  1. A dog cannot be fully trained in less than 2 years. Stay away from programs that promise trained dogs that are 6 months old.

  2. Choose a trainer that specializes in gluten and allergen detection. Read my article about choosing a gluten-detection service dog trainer. I recommend Willow Service Dogs and Wag and Train.

  3. Work on yourself. The handler is 50% of the equation. We think about gluten detection training as dog training, but you are both in training. Before beginning any program, you need to determine if you are ready for training too.

Stay tuned for some exciting resources that will increase your knowledge and confidence in starting your journey or making a decision about whether you are ready for a gluten—or allergen-detecting dog.

Join me Saturday, June 1st at 3pm Pacfic/6pm Eastern as I host an Instagram Live with Gluten Detection trainer and Dog Behaviorist, Kari Bastyr.

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