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Dog Trainer Services

June 2, 2020

A local dog training company is embarking on a cutting-edge program in an effort to train dogs to detect active COVID-19 virus on humans.

Lori and Jack Grigg, owners and trainers at Paradise Dog Training in Tyrone Township, are eager to begin this new project. However, they will need volunteers to donate gloves or socks that have the active COVID-19 virus on them. Lori said after 48 hours the virus on the material would no longer be active and the dogs would then be trained to detect the scent.

The Griggs have trained dogs to be diabetic alert dogs that can detect if their owner has had a drop in their blood sugar level. They are also certified to train dogs to detect bed bugs.

Lori is confident that they can train the dogs to detect COVID-19 on humans, even people who show no symptoms of the virus. She sees these COVID-19 sniffing dogs working at airports, schools, apartment complexes and more. She estimates each dog could sniff between 200 and 250 per hour.

Lori said Penn State is working on this type of training, as well as a program in the United Kingdom.

“It’s one more way to utilize our dogs,” she said. “The training would be the same as training for detecting bed bugs.” While bed-bug sniffing dogs sniff beds and couches for example, COVID-19-sniffing dogs would sniff people.

Lori said there would be no harm to the dogs with this training and she and Jack would take every precaution with the donated materials.

Wayne State medical students typically take on a project and they are hopeful that future medical students could help with their research.

About Paradise Dog Training

Jack and Lori Grigg founded Paradise Dog Training (PDT) more than 25 years ago, concentrating on teaching basic obedience classes and private lessons. In 2009, they expanded their training to include assistance, hearing and therapy dogs utilizing Lori’s 25 years’ experience in the Service Dog Industry. Since then, they have successfully placed over 25 dogs with various clients including diabetic alert dogs and dogs for children with autism. They train assistance dogs for different types of disabilities other than visually impaired.

PDT is also one of the first in the nation to place therapy dogs in facilities such as schools and hospitals where the facility actually owns the dog. They assist in training the volunteer handlers and help set up the program. One of their most successful programs has been placing six therapy dogs in the St. John Providence Health Care System. They also are working with Henry the Black Lab at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield.

In 2010, they started training scent detection dogs to locate bed bugs to fulfill a need culminating from the bed bug epidemic. They have placed numerous scent detection dogs with several different pest control companies. They also have their own bed bug dog Ditto and perform inspections themselves.

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