Your dog truly loves your scent - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Your dog truly loves your scent

Updated: April 5, 2014 02:31 PM
© George Doyle / Stockbyte / Thinkstock © George Doyle / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

SATURDAY, April 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Your scent may affect your dog's brain in the same way a fragrance used by a loved one triggers a reaction in you, according to a new study.

Learning more about how dogs' brains work could improve selection and training of service dogs, the researchers said.

They conducted brain scans of 12 dogs of various breeds while the dogs were presented with five different scents. The scent samples were from the dog itself, an unfamiliar dog, a dog that lived in the same home, an unfamiliar person and a person that lived in the dog's home.

The results showed that a reward area in the dogs' brains responded more strongly to the scents of familiar people than to the scents of other people or even of familiar dogs.

"It's one thing when you come home and your dog sees you and jumps on you and licks you and knows that good things are about to happen," study leader Gregory Berns, director of the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, said in a university news release.

"In our experiment, however, the scent donors were not physically present," he said. "That means the canine brain responses were being triggered by something distant in space and time. It shows that dogs' brains have these mental representations of us that persist when we're not there."

Berns noted that people often have an immediate and emotional reaction when they smell the perfume or cologne of someone they love.

"Our experiment may be showing the same process in dogs," he said. "But since dogs are so much more olfactory than humans, their responses would likely be even more powerful than the ones we might have."

The study, which was published online recently in the journal Behavioural Processes, is thought to be the first to use brain scans to examine the response of dogs to biological odors.

"We plan to do further research to determine whether we can use brain-imaging techniques to better identify dogs that are optimal to serve as companion animals for the disabled," Berns said.

He noted that training service dogs is time-consuming and costly, and only about one-third of dogs that begin the training complete it. Waiting lists for service dogs are long, and many people on those waiting lists are wounded veterans.

"In addition to serving as companion animals for wounded veterans, dogs play many important roles in military operations," Berns said. "By understanding how dogs' brains work, we hope to find better methods to select and train them for these roles."

More information

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals explains dog behavior.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 1 of 2 Ohio plane crash victims not yet identified

    1 of 2 Ohio plane crash victims not yet identified

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:48 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:48:43 GMT
    FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northwest Ohio are still trying to identify one of two people killed in a weekend plane crash. One of the victims in the crash near Findlay was the CEO of an Ohio manufacturing company. A coroner was trying to identify the remains of a woman killed in the crash, but the Hancock County Sheriff's Office says DNA testing may be needed. Deputies say Ralf Bronnenmeier, CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed early Sund...More >>
    FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northwest Ohio are still trying to identify one of two people killed in a weekend plane crash. One of the victims in the crash near Findlay was the CEO of an Ohio manufacturing company. A coroner was trying to identify the remains of a woman killed in the crash, but the Hancock County Sheriff's Office says DNA testing may be needed. Deputies say Ralf Bronnenmeier, CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed early Sund...More >>
  • TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

    TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:35:49 GMT
    IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says it found a pistol and ammunition in man's carry-on bag as he passed through security at Pittsburgh International Airport. TSA official tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the man wasn't allowed take the gun past security, and faces up to a $11,000 civil penalty for bringing the weapon to the checkpoint. But Allegheny County police say they don't plan to charge the man with a crime because he had a license to carry the ....More >>
    IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says it found a pistol and ammunition in man's carry-on bag as he passed through security at Pittsburgh International Airport. TSA official tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the man wasn't allowed take the gun past security, and faces up to a $11,000 civil penalty for bringing the weapon to the checkpoint. But Allegheny County police say they don't plan to charge the man with a crime because he had a license to carry the ....More >>
  • 5 Pa. reps ask NCAA to halt Penn State sanctions

    5 Pa. reps ask NCAA to halt Penn State sanctions

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:29:22 GMT
    Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking college sports' governing body to cancel penalties against Penn State imposed as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.More >>
    Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking college sports' governing body to cancel penalties against Penn State imposed as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms