Dogs have many superpowers, with their super snout being the one that really makes them stand out. They can be trained to sniff pretty much anything, from other animals, people, explosives, drugs, electronics, and even diseases.
Dogs have an exceptional sense of smell that is far more sensitive than humans. They have 100 to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, which is about 50 times more than humans. And the part of a dog’s brain that is dedicated to analyzing smells is about 40 times larger than in humans. The American Kennel Club gives an appetizing example, “They also allow dogs to detect a complexity in odors that humans can’t. You might smell chocolate chip cookies, but your dog can smell the chocolate chips, flour, eggs, and other ingredients.”
This brings us to Natalie Rice who found out her four-year-old daughter was severely allergic to peanuts after giving her peanut butter. This led to years of constant effort and worry to ensure her daughter avoided peanuts every time left their home.
Then in 2018, Rice looked into getting a specialized service dog trained Nosey Dog Detection Partners. The trainer found a promising young cadet in Harley, a 3-month-old Golden Retriever pup. After a year in training, Harley joined the side of Rice’s now 14-year-old daughter.
Now working as Detective Harley, F.A.D.D. (Food Allergy Detection Dog), she acts as both a standard service dog and a detection dog. He keeps his human company while sniffing any restaurant meals, takeout, baked goods, or any new or unclearly labeled food.
…ordered dinner from a restaurant we have visited often, and who knows about the allergy. But Harley alerted us to a pasta dish and was very stubborn about it. We set it aside and called the restaurant, who later explained that it was actually a Thai noodle dish that had peanuts in it.Rice giving an example of Harley’s detective work in action to People Magazine
On top of being a doggy detective, Harley and his fur mom also use his platform to educate on food allergies, as well as encourage empathy for people with allergies. You can follow @detectiveharleyfadd on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
For another professional pooch, check out Cooking with Badger – A Classically Trained Chef and Golden Retriever.