Dogs Playing Matchmaker

Dog’s have a sense of smell approximately 10,000 – 100,000 times more sensitive than ours. A recent episode of NOVA went in to detail about just how acute these canine molecular detectors can be. Dogs are now helping to detect cancer as well.

Superior smell, but ok vision

Superior smell, but ok vision

This all makes sense when you look at things on a molecular scale. In some ways, our bodies are like the car you take to the emission inspection. The health of your body, like your car’s engine, can be assessed by it’s emissions. When it comes to reproduction, “health”, can be a relative term. Certain individuals mate more healthily with some, than with others. Human pheromones are said to communicate this information between prospective lovers.

It stands to reason, if a dog can smell illnesses like cancer, it can smell human pheromones. Given the right training, it may be possible to ask a dog to sniff out your best reproductive partner from a crowd. Of course ideal genetic compatibility probably does not ensure emotional compatibility…but who knows..maybe it does.

21 thoughts on “Dogs Playing Matchmaker

  1. Ann

    my sister uses and she is always saying how lame it is, lol, i’ll bet if they had a dog doing the match-making it would be an instant hit!

  2. Marcus P.

    I enjoyed this post because I’m a dog person. Since birth I have been surrounded by dogs, My father raised and trained Black Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers for show and hunting. I never thought much of it at the time, but I remember now that my dogs often acted differently if I was ill than when I was healthy. Interesting.

  3. Justin J.

    I’m not being flippant when I say that if I were to trust my choice of romantic partners to a dog I’d probably be happier in my relationships than I have been lately. Enough said 🙁

  4. leigh k

    people love animals, they love them more than most humans in their lives. and animals have such an amazing sense of smell, just those two things combined would probably make for amazing match-making abilities with a great success rate.

  5. Mary M.

    I know this is a serious post but as I read it I couldn’t help thinking I’d best be wary when walking my dog. I’m single and of course open to meeting interesting men and as I read I have this vision of my dog adding it’s opinion of men I chat with.

  6. Fran Gilson

    I don’t know about my dog being the ideal matchmaker, but it does seem to be able to accurately judge character accurately. I have learned that if my dog becomes aggressive towards a visitor or protective of me when around someone I should check them out. 100% of the time they turned out to have chequered pasts, and in one case been a downright scary individual who was being sought by police.

  7. Jasmine2015

    I knew that the noses of dogs were more sensitive than humans. Although I never knew that they were able to detect cancer. At the same time, using dogs to detect cancer may not be a good idea if the person is allergic to dogs.

  8. ScooterBrandon

    This is a million dollar idea! I mean most people live dogs and are looking for love. Most are dismissive of the online dating world.
    Imagine doggy matchmaker! $10 to get in and a dog will match you up with another guest.

  9. Liv6

    I sincerely hope this becomes a thing. I feel as though dogs are capable of more than we give them credit for, but I had never heard of dogs being able to “sniff out” cancer. However, I believe it would be quite difficult to train a dog to do this, and of those that are trained, their services would be expensive. Fun idea to think about, however.

  10. danielledavidson

    I don’t know how I feel about this. I think that it might be something cool to see how it would work, but it would also be weird. I don’t think that I would want to rely on a dog to tell me the person that I’m supposed to be with. I mean maybe that’s just because I’m picturing my dog choosing the person who is the best for me. I just don’t think that it would be good. I mean I’m sure with enough training that they would be able to do it, I just don’t think that it would be something that I would ever encourage someone to do.

  11. surlaw

    I’m not sure… how one would train a dog to do this, but if it were possible, that’d be really neat. I’m not sure that I’d trust my pet to choose a mate for me, but it’d certainly be interesting to see the results. I bet there’d be television shows all about Dog Matchmaking and it’s outcomes. I imagine all dog matchmakers would wear the glasses that the dog in the image is.

  12. The Saturn Embassy

    Are we talking about “smell” in the conventional sense?

    As in, does cancer have a “smell”? What exactly are the dogs detecting, and does that have a correlation to pheromones?

    1. anorexorcist

      I’m not really sure, but I think that they referred to pheromones in order to make reference to human reproduction, and that doesn’t really has to do a lot with cancer, but detecting pheromones it’s a property that dogs can develop. And I’m also not really sure about the cancer smell part, but I assume that your body stops working as it should? And maybe that can produce certain smell for them, I guess.

  13. Coolbutlame

    Needless to say, this article makes me uncomfortable. With how private our species has become over the years, this would certainly be an invasion of privacy if it were found out what your intent was for having a dog. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s a clever idea.

    I do marvel at the idea of using dogs to detect cancer and putting that sense to use. Dogs are magnificent creatures, and have already proven to be capable workers on the farm and for the blind. I’m sure that our partnership as species will continue on for many years to come.

    1. Anemelei

      I can’t believe that no-one has come to the very obvious conclusion that if it is pheromones the dog is picking up on, then we are too. Haven’t you ever been with someone and you just loved the way they smelled? Even their worst sweat isn’t that bad? Come on, ladies, surely you remember sleeping with your boyfriends T shirt, and men, don’t tell me you haven’t hugged a pillow or two that smelled like your lover. I’ve known for a long time that pheromones play a big part in attraction. But if its all about reproduction, what happens after a woman is beyond her reproductive years? Do we just stop being attractive period? What a gloomy prospect. I like to think the pheromone response continues on after we are no longer able to reproduce or else I’m obsolete and my sweat just stinks.

  14. roboticc

    Our society would be a much weirder if we humans had a such sensitive smelling system LOL
    I wouldn’t trust a dog when dating, though. Smell cannot be everything when choosing a partner. Dogs cannot read minds or personalities. 🙁

  15. anorexorcist

    I think that the possibility of dogs detecting cancer is a really cool idea, I’m glad that somehow we are managed to use them for a good and productive propose. And when it comes to the reproduction thing… I’m not really sure about it, it would be kind of weird to just train your dog for only that… Walks in the park would never be the same, lol.

  16. rz3300

    Well this really adds a whole new dimension to the dog being your best wing-man. I think we all know the routine, the single guy gets a cute dog and then takes it to the dog parks and other places to meet women, at least that is the way it works in the movies, and I cannot say that I have tried it. This is really interesting to think about though, and it really makes you wonder all the things that dogs might know. Interesting stuff, and thanks for sharing.

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