It's a common saying that dogs can smell fear, but is there any truth to it?
The science says Yes - Dogs can smell fear.
Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and they can pick up on subtle changes in odor that humans are unable to detect. This means that they may be able to detect when a person is feeling fear based on the chemicals that are released by the body. In one study, researchers found that dogs were more likely to approach a person who was feeling fear if they were familiar with the scent. This suggests that dogs may be able to connect fear with a specific person or situation. It seems clear that dogs can indeed pick up on the scent of fear.
In a very long titled study:- Interspecies transmission of emotional information via chemosignals: from humans to dogs (Canis lupus familiarise) It was shown that dogs really do react to the fear presented by humans. When a person gets scared, their sweat glands will start secreting moisture, especially in the armpits. This sweat contains chemical signals that dogs can pick up on.
Additionally, fear can cause a person's heart rate to increase, and dogs are able to hear these higher-pitched heartbeats. There is no doubt that they are sensitive to the changes that occur in a person's body when they are afraid. Next time you're feeling scared, don't be surprised if your dog comes over to comfort you. They can sense your fear and want to help you feel better.
Did you also know that your dog can tell a lot about your emotions just by using its senses?
This is because dogs are also very attuned to our facial expressions and body language. So if you're feeling happy or sad, your dog is likely to pick up on those cues. In fact, dogs are so good at reading our emotions that they've been successfully used in therapy and counseling sessions. So next time you're feeling down, try spending some time with your furry friend. Chances are, they'll be able to make you feel better just by being there.