There is no evidence that untrained dogs detect cancer. However, it is possible. Although, in several cases, dog owners have checked their health because their dog detected something. Untrained dogs can also see when something is wrong and warn their owners.

Some dogs can detect odors released by cancer cells that may not be detectable to humans in the early stages.

Dogs have olfactory receptors that are 10,000 times more accurate than humans. This makes them very sensitive to odors that we cannot detect.

According to one study, dogs’ highly developed sense of smell. Additionally, this ability may detect blood samples from cancer patients over 97 percent of the time.

The results could inspire the development of novel, non-invasive, low-cost methods for early cancer detection. Furthermore, the dog can detect cancer before anyone else, as with bladder cancer.

Table of Contents

How Do Dogs Detect Cancer?

Cancer Cells Produce A Peculiar Odor

Even human noses can detect this odor in the late stages of the disease. Although, they only perceive it when the cancer is still “in situ” or has not yet spread from where it began.

However, dogs can detect this odor significantly earlier in the disease’s progression because of their enhanced sense of smell. Researchers estimate a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than ours.

And remarkably, they don’t have to smell the growth directly, and dogs can detect this odor from waste products such as their breath.

Dogs have been used in numerous tests to identify breast and lung cancer by smelling patients’ breath.

According to these investigations, the dogs could detect biochemical variations between those diagnosed with cancer and those without cancer. Other ways are:

  1. Prostate and bladder cancer can be detected by sniffing the patients’ urine.
  2. Colorectal cancer, sniffing the patients’ exhalations and stool samples.
  3. Ovarian tumors, by sniffing tumors and patients’ blood samples.
  4. Cervical cancer by sniffing patients’ biopsy samples.
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Seven Dog Breeds Most Likely To Detect Cancer

German Shepherds

The best police and military dogs in the world are acknowledged to be German Shepherds. They put in endless effort in narcotics detection and human search and rescue thanks to their excellent sense of smell.


One of the first canines to use smell for hunting was the Bloodhound. Bloodhounds are another breed of dogs that can detect cancer when trained. Because of how precisely it worked in law enforcement, evidence found by a Bloodhound was accepted in court. More than any other breed, this enormous hunting dog possesses 300 million scent receptors.

It has a reputation for following people, and because of its dependability, the evidence it provides has been admitted in court. Hound can detect scents on the ground and in the air.

Like its cousin, the Basset Hound, it is built to be the perfect scent hound, with a large, long head, large open nostrils, long ears to pick up the scent from the ground up, and a loose layer of skin around the head and neck to capture and hold the bouquet.

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Last but not least, his stamina and endurance make the Bloodhound an excellent scent hound.


He may be one of the most miniature dog breeds, but the Beagle has just as many scent receptors as the German Shepherd. Many happy little dogs follow the scent of the air and the ground.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service employs the Beagle’s sniffer nose to identify contraband (mainly food) at airports, making it a favorite among hunters. Beagles that have been in use for some time have a 90% success rate and can detect nearly 50 different scents.

Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound is a steady, determined hunter that can follow even the most complicated tracks. Like the Redbone Coonhound, the Bluetick can follow even very faint scents.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are excellent for all types of tracking work because of their tracking nose. They are often used as search and rescue dogs and have even been trained to sniff out cancer from patients’ breath.

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English Springer Spaniel

This famous sporting dog exists as a field and shows dogs. Field-type jumpers are prized by hunters for their excellent nose, which is liver-colored or black and has wide nostrils.

English jumpers have been trained to detect such diverse odors as explosives, narcotics, counterfeit money, beehives, and human remains.

Do Dogs Help To Detect Cancer And Diagnosis

The ability of dogs to detect cancer has significant benefits for people. It’s a low-risk, noninvasive procedure to use dogs to find and diagnose cancer.

Due to their mobility, ability to get to work quickly, and ability to track an odor to its source, medical detection dogs have minimal drawbacks.

Additionally, they are used in hospitals or research facilities to detect cancer in tissue samples taken from patients who are suspected of having the disease.

Dogs’ skills could also be used to create devices like electronic noses that can accurately identify the odor signatures of cancer.

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However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness and reliability of canine cancer detection.

Conclusion Dogs Detecting Cancer

Dogs’ sensitive smell allows them to recognize the smells associated with different cancers. They can sniff people’s skin, bodily fluids, or breath to find cancers like melanoma, colon, prostate, breast, and others.

To detect and monitor cancer, researchers are looking at using specially trained medical detection dogs.

Dog cancer detection is a simple, non-invasive approach that could have fewer negative effects on people. However, more research is required to validate this method for clinical practice.


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