Your Dog Can Smell Your Emotions. “Uhh What?”

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This is a guest post by Aleksandar Šarčević.

They never cease to amaze us. Stories about unexplainable behavior of different breeds have spread to every part of the globe for different reasons. They are the first animals to be domesticated by man and to this day no other living creature have shown such unconditional love to us. That is how things tend to get when you have someone who loves you so much that you start to make up things about them. But after all speculations, the myth has finally been scientifically debunked. Yes, they can indeed smell our emotions with their magic noses!

A Myth That Is Finally Debunked

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You just went out to get some amazing dog travel accessories so that you finally fulfill your dream of traveling with your dog. His enthusiasm and cheerfulness when he realizes that he is going on a trip are ten times stronger than of a human. Or how about we take a look at the other side of the spectrum? When you come back home from a bad day at work and he carefully approaches you with his overwhelming sad expression and constant pule, and all in hope to somehow make you feel a little better.

Every animal deserves to be loved and respected but lets us not fool ourselves, no animal in the world will show you such humanlike care as our dogs do. That said, it should not come as a surprise that for centuries proud owners from all around the world would tell stories about how their dogs can feel emotions just by simply smelling them.

This was an unexplainable phenomenon up until recently when it has been finally scientifically proven that dogs can indeed smell our emotions! A study that was reported on the University of Naples has shown that dogs use their sense of smell to accommodate themselves to their human’s emotions and mood, too.

At Last, Scientist Knew Where To Look For Answers

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“The role of the olfactory system has been largely underestimated, maybe because our own species is more focused on the visual system,” lead author Biagio D’Aniello from the University of Naples.

The odor samples were collected from the axilla of male donors not involved in the main experiment. The test setup included the co-presence of the dog’s owner, a stranger and the odor dispenser in a space where the dogs could move freely.

There were three odor conditions (fear, happiness, and control)  to which the dogs were assigned randomly.

The secondary parameters were the relevant behaviors of the dogs (approaching, interacting and gazing) directed to the three targets (owner, stranger, sweat dispenser) aside from the dogs’ stress and heart rate indicators. The results have shown with high accuracy that the dogs manifested and predicted behaviors in all three conditions.

There were less and inadequate owner directed behaviors and stranger directed behaviors when they were in the “happy odor condition” compared to the fear odor and control conditions. In the fear odor condition, they displayed more stressful behaviors. The heart rate data in the control and happy conditions were significantly lower than in the fear condition.

Our findings suggest that interspecies emotional communication is facilitated by chemosignals. That said it’s no surprise that we had to wait such a long time before we finally came up to the conclusion that chemosignals are the main source of such discovery.

We all knew at this point that for example dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10 million times better than ours, and how they can hear things 4x better than us. This research will only increase our fascination for them and possibly change the way we see our world’s number one pet with even greater respect.


Aleksandar Šarčević is an SEO writer, and a part-time journalist with dedicated work to fields of Sociology, Politics, Economics, Psychology, and Art. The favorite method of observing the material sustains of deep analyses of subjects through observation of changes that happened through time with the predictions for future. The greatest passion is shared with music and the will to explore the problematic sides of modern society.

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