Dogs can sniff out stress on owner’s breath


Scientists guess the dog’s sense of smell is somewhere around 100,000 times more acute than ours, the reason being the huge number of scent receptors.

dogs (Image Source -
Image Source –

The emotional sensitivity of our canine friends was put to the test once again, this time in the context of a scientific sniffing experiment,

Researchers have found that dogs are able to detect stress in the breath and sweat of humans.

We trained four dogs, all of which were pets whose owners volunteered them for the task, to “choose” one of three scent canisters.

In addition, they were successful in identifying a sample of sweat or breath that had been taken from a stressed person in more than 650 out of 700 trials.

It is the hope of the researchers at Queen’s University Belfast that their study, which was recently published in the journal Plos One, will be of assistance in the process of training therapy dogs.

Smell is the primary sense that dogs use to take in their surroundings. Additionally, their acute capacity for olfactory detection is already put to use in the screening processes for drugs, explosives, and a variety of diseases and conditions, such as certain types of cancer, diabetes, and even Covid.


“We had lots of evidence that dogs can pick up smells from humans that are associated with certain medical conditions or diseases,” the lead researcher Clara Wilson said. “However, we don’t have much evidence that they can smell differences in our psychological state.”

Before and after working through a challenging math problem, each of the 36 human volunteers reported how stressed out they were feeling.

Each can hold a sample of the subject’s sweat or breath from either before or after the experiment, depending on whether or not the subject’s blood pressure and heart rate had also increased.

Treo, Fingal, Soot, and Winnie were all given their favorite canine snack if they were able to maintain their position of either standing or sitting in front of the “stressed” sample without moving. Read more

Read More: Human Stray Dog Conflicts: Countering Them is the Need of the Hour



Umang Srivastava
Umang Srivastava
Project manager, web content writer, translator





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