Can Dogs Really Smell Fear?

Dogs read subtleties like dilated pupils, tense posture, freezing and increased heart rate that communicate fear.

Fear Signals  

When afraid, human body chemistry changes in ways dogs can smell. Adrenaline and cortisol increase.

Scent Changes  

Some dogs become fearful themselves. Others see it as weakness and feel emboldened to use aggression. 


Dogs mirror energy around them. Use slow movements, relaxed body language and deep breaths when uneasy. 

Stay Calm

Staring can seem challenging. Look at a dog briefly, then avoid direct eye contact if feeling intimidated.

No Eye Contact  

With patience, let fearful dogs sniff you before attempting touch, allowing them time to recognize you're not a threat.

Build Trust  

The dog's owner knows them best. Ask for guidance interacting if a dog is causing unease or fear.

 Ask Owner  

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