What Is A Dog’s Nose Capable Of?

Dog Nose Capable Of

The fact that a dog is not only a friend, but also a colleague of a person has long been known. It seems that dogs have entered all spheres of human activity: they protect and rescue, work as guides and therapists, engage in scientific and environmental activities – this list continues to grow as we discover new abilities. amazing dogs. It’s no secret that dogs have many jobs thanks to their phenomenal sense of smell. What does a dog’s nose do in the name of mankind?


First, dogs are excellent diagnostic doctors, and there is scientific evidence for this.

  • A 2016 Cambridge University study found that dogs can recognize fluctuations in human blood sugar. Presumably, their sense of smell is able to determine the concentration of isoprene in a person’s breath. For people with diabetes, a canine nose can become a more efficient and often more convenient and safer “diagnostic method” compared to the same blood glucose meter.
  • Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. In 2015, Italian researchers presented their results at a conference of the American Urological Association. Two specially trained sheepdogs identified the disease by analyzing the urine of several hundred patients with an accuracy of over 93%. These indicators are superior to all existing diagnostic methods.
  • Recently, the list of canine superpowers seems to have been supplemented by the diagnosis of malaria, which they were able to detect by the smell of socks. This unusual method can be extremely important in remote areas where standard diagnostic methods are not readily available.
  • On the mental health side, here too, the dogs lend us a hand. In 2014, a school in Whippany, US, hired a Rhodesian Ridgeback, in Cali, to monitor the stress hormone cortisol in students with mental health issues. It should be noted that dogs often help us take care of our state of mind without the aid of their phenomenal sense of smell.

Security service

It’s no secret that dogs “serve” in the military and police. While this fact certainly raises some ethical questions, it does exist and cannot be ignored here.

  • Dogs began to be used to search for bombs, presumably during WWII when metal-free bombs appeared, which could not be detected by metal detectors.
  • It seems that the dog’s nose was created to find drugs, and always has been. But dogs weren’t introduced to this work until the early 1970s in the United States. The list of legal drugs has since changed, but dog noses still do this dangerous job around the world.
  • Police dogs not only catch suspects, but also search for victims. They are able to smell human remains even underground.
  • The Film Industry Association of America decided to hire dogs to fight piracy. Two Labradors were trained to feel the lost profits, namely the polycarbonates used to make DVDs. In 2004, unauthorized copying of media was a big threat to multi-billion-dollar business owners in the entertainment industry. But 15 years later, a much bigger problem seems to be that these discs are not in demand, even among hackers.

Other animals and fungi

An equally controversial area in terms of ethics. When it comes to conquering and taming nature, man will stop at nothing. Including, to use other animals, for the most part, of course, dogs.

  • In 2014, Buzz, an Australian Labrador, donned a special protective suit and demonstrated to the world that he can sniff out sick bees. Thus, he prevented a large-scale bee epidemic and saved beekeeping.
  • Long before that, 40 years ago, scientists discovered that dogs can smell when cows are ovulating. This discovery has increased the effectiveness of artificial insemination techniques in agriculture.
  • Dogs can smell bedbugs, according to a study from the University of Florida (US). In addition, their effectiveness is three times that of a human examination. Not surprisingly, soon after the publication of these results, companies appeared in the United States that had specially trained four-legged inspectors on their staff.
  • A lot of people know that pigs are looking for incredibly expensive mushrooms – truffles. What does the dog have to do with this? It turns out that in Italy dogs of the Lagotto Romagnolo (Italian water dog) breed have been used for these purposes since the 19th century. But unlike ungulates, dogs don’t eat truffles when they are found. At least if they were specially taught good manners.
  • Unlike truffles and other delicacies, mold is a type of fungus that people rarely enjoy. When mold appears in the house, it is not possible to notice it immediately, so dogs come to the rescue, with the help of their noses, they deal with this problem inexpensively and with anger.
  • Fortunately, people don’t always use the unique canine abilities to intervene in nature, sometimes they help preserve it. For example, dogs find the droppings of wild animals by smell. Analysis of such “findings” can inform specialists about the physiological state of the animal, its nutrition and even its genetic origin. The main thing in this method is to quickly and precisely find these traces of vital activity. In this case, dog noses are irreplaceable and have undeniable advantages over other methods. A dog’s job takes less time and covers a large area, while a dog’s nose provides more objective information than surveillance cameras, camera traps, and electronic collars.

This list is far from exhaustive and people continue to find new ways to use canine smell. We can only hope that such cooperation in the future will be beneficial not only for humans, but also for dogs.


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