Dogs may detect stress on their owners’ breath.

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By Creative Media News

Our canine pals have once again demonstrated their sensitivity to human emotions, this time in a scientific smelling test.

Scientists have found that dogs can detect the odor of tension in our breath and sweat.

Four dogs, whose owners volunteered them, were taught to “choose” one of three scent canisters.

And in almost 650 out of 700 trials, they correctly identified a sample of sweat or breath collected from a stressed individual.

Dogs may detect stress on their owners' breath.
Dogs may detect stress on their owners' breath.

The researchers at Queen’s University Belfast hope that their findings, which were published in the journal Plos One, may aid in the training of therapy dogs.

The smell is how dogs perceive the world around them. And their incredibly sensitive scent-detection abilities are being employed to detect drugs, explosives, and a variety of diseases, including some cancers, diabetes, and even Covid.

“We have a lot of data that dogs can detect human odors linked with particular medical illnesses or diseases, but we don’t have much evidence that they can detect variations in our psychological state,” said lead researcher Clara Wilson.

Sniff out stress
Dogs may detect stress on their owners' breath.

The 36 human participants reported their stress levels before and after solving a challenging math problem.

Each can include a sample of their pre- or post-exercise sweat or breath, provided that their blood pressure and heart rate had also increased.

Treo, Fingal, Soot, and Winnie were rewarded with their favorite dog treat if they remained still or sat in front of the “stressed” sample.

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