See how these amazing dogs could save your life

We all know how amazing dogs are and how they can make a positive impact on our lives. Now dogs could save your life by detecting serious illnesses like cancer early enough to give the best possible chance of survival.

You probably have heard about detection dogs. Detection dogs are trained to use its sense of smell to detect substances such as:

  • Explosives
  • Drugs
  • Animals
  • Money
  • Blood
  • Even some electronics like mobile phones
dogs could save your life

Photo: In Situ Foundation

Not only can highly trained dogs be trained to detect even the slightest smell or change in chemical make up, these detection dogs could save your life.

How good is a dog’s sense of smell

Scientist, Dr. James Walker of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, documented the power of a dog’s nose in 2002.  Dr.  Walker documented that a dog can smell 100,000 times better than a human with about 300 million receptors in their nose.

Can you believe that a dog can smell all the individual ingredients in a cake, they can detect your footprints and even fingerprints.  When you come home, your dog can smell what you have been up to all day and even your mood.

When we are in a good mood or a bad mood, we emit hormones that our dog can detect and react to.

A dog's nose is designed for incredible smelling ability. A dog's nostrils split into two parts, one for smelling, and one for breathing. Their nose is designed to breathe in and out through different passageways to circulate and capture smells.  The area dedicated to smell is relatively much large than ours. 

The author of In Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz has put together this really interesting video on a dog's sense of smell. 

How dogs could save your life by detecting cancer

Dogs could save your life. There are stories where dogs have instinctively detected cancer in people.  Tumors emit very low concentrations of chemicals. Due to their incredible sense of smell, a dog can detect the chemical change in our body. If we can capture this chemical change, we can train dogs to detect this chemical over and over again.

Dogs learn through reward, we treat them when they sit, drop and roll over. The same reward training is used to teach dogs to smell cancer cells. Samples of human breath or urine containing cancer cells is taken and used to train the dogs.

The In Situ Foundation runs a cancer dog training program. In Situ Foundation is the unparalleled expert in the field of training cancer detection dogs, and among the first trainers to participate in published research, setting the bar for future studies on the subject

What breeds of dog can detect cancer​

In Situ Foundation uses high drive dogs, such as German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Shepherd / Lab mixes, Beagles, Belgian Malinois, and most mixed breeds containing any of these combinations.

Ultimately, it is the dogs temperament and drive that matters most as many other breeds of dog have been trained and make great detection dogs.

Here are some of the amazing dogs at In Situ:

dog can save your life

This is Charlie.  She is a six-week-old German Shepherd.  Charlie will be one of the first dogs in the world trained on upper thoracic (head, neck and throat) cancer, using saliva samples.

dog can save your life

This is Stewie. She is a 5-year-old, female, Australian Shepherd. She has been one of In Situ’s best dogs, and has been trained to detect early stage lung, ovarian, and breast cancer

To help train these amazing life saving dogs you can donate here​.

dogs could save your life

To learn more about cancer detecting dogs and how a dog could save your life watch this short video or go to In Situ Foundation.

Are you interested in how dogs could save your life? Here are some inspirational books about incredible dogs that you need to read:

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. Author Alexandra Horowitz

dogs could save your life

Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.

Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context.​

>> Check out the latest price for Inside of a Dog on Amazon

What a Dog Knows. Author, ​Cat Warren.

dogs could save your life

What a Dog Knows is a firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of “working dogs”—pups who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, even locate the dead—as told through the experiences of a journalist and her intrepid canine companion, which The New York Times calls “a fascinating, deeply reported journey into the…amazing things dogs can do with their noses.”

>> Check out the latest price now for What a Dog Know on Amazon.

The Genius of Dogs, Author Brian Hare and Venessa Woods

dogs could save your life

Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare, have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom. This dog genius revolution is transforming how we live and work with our canine friends, including how we train them. Does your dog feel guilt? Is she pretending she can't hear you? Does she want affection—or just your sandwich?

In Th­e Genius of Dogs, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods lay out what discoveries at the Duke Canine Cognition Lab and other research facilities around the world are revealing about how your dog thinks and how we humans can have even deeper relationships with our best four-legged friends.

>> Check out the latest price for The Genius of Dogs on Amazon​

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