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Posted by bio_man   March 7, 2018   2424 views

A dog searching for a lost child is typically given an item of clothing to smell. But what does that scent “look” like?

To find out, scientists tested 48 dogs, half of which had special police or rescue training. In a laboratory room, the scientists slid each dog’s favorite toy across the floor to a hiding place, while the dog waited in another room. One researcher then brought the dog to the testing room and pointed at the starting point of the odor trail and told the dog, “Look for it! Bring it!” In one trial, the dog found either its favored toy or a different item.

Many of the surprised dogs continued searching for the toy used to lay the scent trail—an indication that they had a mental representation of what they expected to find. Both family dogs and working dogs scored about the same on the tests, confirming previous studies showing that education doesn’t necessarily improve a dog’s performance.

Previous studies have shown that horses have mental images of their owners and other horses—based on the sounds of their voices and whinnies. This study gives us we have a better idea how smell and cognition are linked in animals such as dogs that rely heavily on their scene of smell, namely by picturing what they’re searching for.


Scent dogs
Posted in Research
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3 Comments | Write Comment
Malinois the best dog for investigations.
Posted on Mar 15, 2018 by BrianLim45
Dogs are truly amazing creatures. The future will be amazing.
Posted on May 15, 2018 by Crusted
It is very interesting!
Posted on Feb 7, 2022 by Xe1theitha
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