A new study being done by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reveals that you dog loves your scent, more so than the scent of another human, or even a familiar dog. Dogs are much more olfactory than humans in that their sense of smell is so much stronger, but this is similar to the way humans respond to the scents of their loved ones. For dogs, because they smell so much better than us, this type of scent association opens up a number of incredible possibilities.
The study was done on twelve dogs of different breeds, and all of the dogs were given the scents of themselves, an unfamiliar dog, a familiar dog, an unfamiliar human, and a familiar human. The dogs all responded most to the scent of the familiar human, more so than that of the familiar dog. This means that your dog loves your scent and is affected by it more than the scent of other dogs (even though it seems like they go crazy for the scent of other dogs way more).
This study is just the beginning of this type of research using brain scans to reveal the way dogs react to their human’s scent. A study like this could lead to the determination of which dogs have the most connected response to their owner’s scent, which could identify particular breeds and types of dogs that are better suited for training as companion dogs. Right now, the list of people waiting for companion animals is very long, but out of all of the dogs that are trained for various jobs, only a third of them complete their training. This type of advanced research could help that process and ensure that all dogs in the programs complete their training so that they can go on to help the humans that need them most, including veterans, persons with disabilities, and more.
Truly interesting stuff!