Can dogs smell emotion?

Can dogs smell emotions? Skilbey Blogs.

Milly Skilbey BlogsI have to give a special shout out to the dog above. Her name is Milly. She belongs to our eldest. It is her dog. The love our eldest has for her Milly is not confined to a love that only stretches to infinity and beyond. It is far, far more serious than that. It does occasionally become the family dog for practical purposes, you understand. The dog as you can imagine adores her.

I should say here, I am not a dog lover, cats are more my thing. I have written two blogs that feature our cats. If you’d like to get a measure of one of our cats, the link is here:

and how both cats got on once their manhood was compromised, read

I also love goats, but that’s for another blog. Back to the dog. I have to give it credit. Time and time again, Milly the dog has exercised a soft spot for mammals. This recent event is a classic example.

Milly ran to and sat at my hubby’s side. He was working at his desk. Hubby said Milly started to cry; the whine she made, he had never heard before, and crying, he felt was the right description to use. He tried to ask her what was wrong. She didn’t give any helpful indicators. He got up to check that the front door was open. Perhaps she couldn’t physically get out on such a beautiful day. He got to the hall and could see the front door was in fact, wide open. Milly shot ahead, stopped at the threshold and then cried out again towards hubby before setting off.

Hubby stood at the threshold. He could hear Milly’s pitter-patter feet heading round to the back of the house. Seconds later she arrived back, carrying something delicately in her mouth. She placed it down, gently at hubby’s feet. It was a tiny vole, injured but still alive. Milly was closely followed by one of our cats. Milly pushed it gently with her nose, nudging it to move, then stepped back to give it space. The cat moved towards it but was not as fast as Milly who placed herself between the vole and the cat, then bared her teeth at the cat, letting out a measured growl that put the cat in its place but not enough to frighten the vole. Hubby picked up the cat and brought him inside, shutting the door. He then returned to find Milly had moved it further away from the house and was gently nudging it. Eventually, he watched Milly delicately pick up the vole again and rest it in a hedge.

I read an article just recently about a team of researchers investigating whether we give out an odour when we go through emotional states. They tested cinema audiences and found that the air in cinemas tends to take on unique chemical signatures based on how audiences react to what’s happening on the screens.

Well, dogs have a superior sense of smell; they can sniff out cancers amongst other equally impressive things and hear frequencies we have no chance of hearing or could ever imagine. Did Milly smell fear emitted from this little creature and hear its cry of distress? Perhaps she did. But to then show such compassion through her behaviour and to demonstrate an understanding of a life less strong and in need of protection is extraordinary to me, though I know there must be similar acts happening across the land with dogs and other creatures. I would love to hear of your experiences.Milly the dog. Can she smell emotion?

I should say, later on in the evening, I witnessed Milly, all over said cat, fussing her affectionately. Milly likes her, just doesn’t like her job description.

Maybe the love – surpassing infinity and beyond- Milly receives, is all she can give out in return.

4 thoughts on “Can dogs smell emotions? Skilbey Blogs.

  1. Well, I’ve always known dogs are empathetic.! This is a lovely story. Did you check on the vole later? Jx

    1. Thanks, Judith. Hubby did check on it but it had gone; whether it managed to get away or whether something else got to it, we’ll never know xx

  2. Nice post! I think some of this comes down to the type of dog you have. Mine would have killed the vole (they are terriers, it’s what they do) Having said that we’ve had a couple of occasions where that trait has been useful. Ahem. Moving on.

    If I’m upset however, they get agitated so clearly do pick up on my emotional state somehow.

    1. Thanks.Yes, I think a certain type of dog does play a part.And generally, they are all wired up to fulfill their job descriptions, so i suppose, shouldn’t be too surprised if our domestic creatures return to their instincts. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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