Can Dogs Really Smell Fear?

LBC Studio

Question

Can dogs really smell when humans are afraid of them?
Stan, The Strand

Answer

**Definitive**
Name: Steve, Bishopsgate
Qualification: Dog behaviour expert - he’s worked with dogs with behavioural problems for many years
Answer: There are no scientific tests to prove unquestionably that dogs can do so. The only way a dog will know humans are afraid of them is through body language.

**Definitive**
Name: Professor Hal
Qualification: Mystery Hour's Best Friend
Answer: Yes, they can smell fear. It's all to do with pheromones - there's an evolutionary benefit to being able to communicate unease or danger to others, without making a noise about it. I’ve been in situations where someone’s been terrified, and they do smell different. Some studies say humans can detect the smell of fear.

**James's Verdict**
I'm going to give you both a round of applause, just because I don’t want it to get awkward!

 

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