Police dogs have a better sense of smell than expected, and science says so!

Police dogs have a better sense of smell than expected, and science says so!

What if dogs have a more developed sense of smell than we thought? However, that's what a new study published in the journal estimates the animalsand was carried out by the DogRisk research group at the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, and the Nose-Wise Odor Discrimination Society.

The sense of smell is more developed than expected

According to the study, “Dogs can learn to recognize hydrosol concentrationsEucalyptus Well below the detection threshold of sophisticated analytical instruments used today. Concentrations were also well below previously reported levels. The extraordinary Smell “Dogs can be used, for example, in search and rescue operations and medical examination.”.

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To reach this conclusion, the researchers studied 15 police dogs who underwent different training. So, some played competitive sports with dogs, while others were trained to recognize diseases, molds or parasites.

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To determine the lowest concentration they could detect with certainty, the scientists asked the dogs to identify samples that contained lower concentrations of eucalyptus hydrosol than those that contained only water. To do this, the animals underwent three different tests, in which the hydrosol concentrations were gradually reduced, until they could no longer recognize the odor.

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“The dogs' odor detection threshold initially ranged between 1:10⁴ and 1:10²³, but dropped to 1:10¹⁷ – 1:10²¹ after a period of training. In other words, the dogs needed 1 to 10 molecules per milliliter of water to detect the correct sample to place In proper form, one yeast cell contains 42 million molecules.Anna Helm-Björkman, the lead researcher of the study from the University of Helsinki, explained.

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Interestingly, the researchers found that there is a wide variation in compositions between the different eucalyptus hydrosols typically used in olfactory work. Among the 10 commercial products analyzed, they detected different concentrations of eucalyptol and alcohol.

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“This explains why many dogs accustomed to commercial eucalyptus hydrosols showed surprisingly poor results in the study,” Emphasis on authors. Their sense of smell is so subtle that they did not recognize the eucalyptus hydrosol used in the study as the same substance they were familiar with.

“This demonstrates the importance of using standardized nasal treatment products in training and in sports competitions.”“, concludes researcher Soel Turunen, from the University of Eastern Finland.

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