Can You Smell Your Dog?

Woman Rubbing Noses with PuppyCan you smell your dog? Yes, you read that question correctly!

A new study out of Queen's University in Belfast was designed to figure out whether a dog owner could sniff out his or her individual dog's scent. The researchers placed a blanket in the dogs' beds for three nights to infuse the blanket with their scents. To prevent any bias based on the color of hair on the blanket or other visual cues, the dog owners were first blindfolded. They were then presented with two blankets, one which contained their dog's scent, and the other with the scent of an unfamiliar dog.

You might be able to guess the results of the study. Dog owners were overwhelmingly adept at selecting the blanket infused with their dog's scent. 88.5%  of owners accurately selected the correct blanket.  

While dogs have a much more powerful sense of smell than humans do, there is much research that proves the abilities of the human nose. We have long known that mothers are able to distinguish the scent of their newborn baby, and that parents are able to accurately identify their child's smell on a piece of clothing.

It's incredible that the abilities once thought to have applied only to parents and children may now apply to dog owners and their four-legged friends. This is a remarkable testament to the powerful bond between man and dog, and the extent to which we are attuned to our pets.

Enlist the help of a friend and try the test for yourself, and see how well your nose knows your dog!

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2 thoughts on “Can You Smell Your Dog?

  1. Heather

    Love this! Bridging that gap between our differences, discovering our similarities... creating understanding and empathy through intelligent education. Very cool! Cheers!

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