Dogs don’t like certain people, and there’s an explanation

You have probably already had to deal with a dog that displayed violent or aggressive behavior towards another person, and sometimes for no reason. The instinct of animals is sometimes inexplicable, and even their owners do not know how to define such behavior. The story of an American family, told by Discover, is quite challenging. A man says that when he was 12 years old, his dog became upset when the neighbor approached them in front of their house. The man smiled, however, but had to take refuge behind the door and leave the property.

A much more developed sense of smell

The family finally learned a few weeks later that the neighbor in question had been arrested on ten counts of child abuse. The family’s dog had therefore sensed something strange at home. Through studies, researchers are beginning to understand the behavior of certain dogs. Because it is well known, a dog’s sense of smell is much more developed than that of humans. If the latter has about 5 to 6 million olfactory receptors, dogs have 220 million or 36 times more. Not to mention that some races even have 300 million.

According to Discover, dogs can detect scents that are 50 times less concentrated. But thanks to MRIs, researchers have shown that dogs don’t have a large frontal lobe like humans, but a kind of olfactory bulb that takes up 10% of their brain. Dogs can smell things that humans cannot, but also register them. This allows them to understand sniffed smells. They collect and store information.

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Associate odors with behavior

An animal behaviorist studied the behavior of a dog in the presence of visitors, and among them those who were bitten the most. Originally, no element made it possible to differentiate them. Only certain smells brought them together. For example, they had all eaten pizza a few hours before. However, a pizza delivery boy had kicked a puppy, which created a reaction in the dog of defense and attack.

If smells can play a role in the dog’s behaviour, certain emotions and chemical signals can also play a role. We think of adrenaline, sweat or body odour. Dogs can also determine whether fear can cause sweating. A 2018 study conducted with labradors or golden retrievers showed that dogs exposed to the scent of fear from certain people showed some stress. Finally, other studies have also proven that dogs can help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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