Dogs can sense our stress through our sweat!
A recent study, published on September 28, 2022, shows that dogs can tell when we are stressed. A breakthrough that, among other things, could help us better understand the relationship between man and his faithful friend.
Our furry companions make it easier for us to relax. When something is wrong, a hug from your dog is always welcome. But what if they really know when we're not well? This is what a recent study by Clara Wilson, Kerry Campbell, Zachary Petzel, and Catherine Reeve, published on September 28 in Plos One, an American scientific journal, has shown. Dogs are therefore able to distinguish between the moments during which we are relaxed and the moments during which we are stressed. Explanations
Dogs can tell the difference between a stressed person and a relaxed person
The PLOS One study found that dogs can sense our stress. And it was by using their sense of smell that the dogs participated in the experiment. To better understand how this is possible, several tests were conducted, putting 36 people and 4 dogs into action: Soot, Fingal, Winnie, and Treo. The latter had to sniff different samples: samples including the breath or sweat of people under stress; baseline samples were taken before the stress period; and empty samples. During the different exercises, the dogs were able to detect the "under stress" samples from the baseline samples with about 93% reliability.
The sense of smell of dogs is essential for the assistance
Knowing this helps to understand the relationship between a dog and its owner. Notably, the study suggests that "dogs are able to detect human physiological changes associated with psychological states." But it also highlights "the importance of considering the transmission of olfactory signals when owning a dog and when training service dogs. Indeed, these promising results could help in the training of service dogs, especially for people suffering from post-traumatic stress.