Dogs Pick Up the Scent of Covid-19, Initial Study Finds

Researchers find dogs could sniff out Covid-19 after 6-8 weeks of training.

Grow Your Business,
Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

25, 2021

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Six dogs detected the smell of the coronavirus on clothing and masks in a Phase 1 trial by scientists, CNN reports.

The collaborative study between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical , Durham University and the group Medical Detection Dogs found the canines’ sensitivity rate in smelling was 82% to 94% under controlled conditions.

James Logan, who led the testing, says the results are encouraging. “Dogs could detect Covid with incredible speed and accuracy — even if a person was asymptomatic.”

Related: New York Launches First Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Passport

Chemical analysis has found a “distinct” smell associated with the virus and researchers are working to identify the chemicals that make up the odor.     

The dogs could also tell if someone didn’t have Covid-19. That “specificity rate” also ranged between 76% to 92%.  

Study authors still say the PCR test is the “gold standard” for detecting the virus but suggest that dogs could offer a faster and simpler way to screen people in high-traffic areas — or prevent individuals from going to crowded venues. 

Related: COVID-19 Will Fuel the Next Wave of Innovation

The six pooches who particpated in the study included Golden Retrievers, Labradors and a Cocker Spaniel, all between the ages of  4 and 6 years old. 

Phase 2 of the study will test the dogs’ detection abilities on people actually infected with the virus rather than items of clothing. 

Related: How to Navigate the Post-Covid Landscape

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


The Abundance Pub (TAP) is a media source dedicated to all things positive in the world. Focusing on Health, Wealth and Happiness. The Abundance Pub serves as repository of positive news articles, blogs, Podcasts, Masterclasses and tips to help people live their best life!


Message From Founder