Is it true that dogs smell fear?

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dog smells scared

There are many people who claim that dogs smell fear, that they are able to detect when we are scared and, consequently, make them more nervous in the face of our restlessness and fear.

The truth is that they are partly right, since dogs can detect fear but cannot smell it. What dogs smell are the hormones we generate when we get nervous, such as adrenaline.

Fear itself does not have a characteristic smell, the urban legends that say that we release pheromones are completely false…. But the human being when he gets nervous generates and stirs many hormones that if they generate a certain smell, which we release through sweat.

dog sniffing with his nose

So what the dog can smell are our hormones, let’s not forget that the smell of a dog is incredibly superior to that of a human, being able to smell us more than a hundred meters away, much more even with favorable wind.

When a dog smells some of our hormones like adrenaline, he understands that we are nervous and consequently he also gets nervous. Imagine that you are walking down the street and you see someone very nervous coming towards you, are you scared right? well the same thing happens to a dog when he sees a nervous human go towards him.

The dog does not know that the human is afraid, the dog knows that the human is nervous and that can mean, that perhaps the human is thinking about facing the dog (or at least the dog may think so).

That is why it is very important not to show nervousness before a dog, dogs smell fear because we give off a very peculiar smell when we get nervous. If we do not want to be scared but dogs are not scary, simply follow the four golden rules:

  • Not look at them
  • Not touch them
  • Not talk to them
  • Do not run

furious dog

On the other hand, dogs also have very fine hatred, if our heart beats very fast they will be able to hear it when passing by us and know that we are very nervous. the dog is well trained nothing will happen, but if the dog is not educated and becomes nervous, it could attack us if we make any sudden movement.

That is why it is very important not to run or make quick movements, simply act normally and not give it more importance than the situation has, so as not to get nervous.

So it is fully demonstrated that dogs can detect fear, perhaps not directly smell it, but detect it through the smell of our hormones and the noise of our heart rhythm.

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