Study shows dogs can smell human stress

October 11, 2022
Dog standing on beach smiling, ears flapping in the wind

This finding tells us that an acute, negative, psychological stress response alters the odor profile of our breath/sweat, and that dogs are able to detect this change in odor.

Researchers from the United Kingdom found that dogs can smell human stress with nearly 94% accuracy.

Why It Matters: Dogs have long been considered a close companion to humans. However, a new study is the first of its kind to confirm the extent to which dogs can sense a shift in chemical signals when humans' psychological state changes, particularly in moments of increased stress. Because service dogs are typically trained to respond to visual cues and not chemical/psychological signals, these findings can be used to better train emotional support and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) service dogs.

Dogs can smell when we're stressed, study suggests (Science Daily)

The full study: Dogs can discriminate between human baseline and psychological stress condition odours (PLOS ONE)

by Jenna Lee,