Science Questions

Sun, 12th Feb 2006

Part of the show Science of Seduction, Pheromones and the Food of Love


Elaine in the USA asked:

I was wondering if you could tell me whether my male dog is sensitive to my menstrual cycle? I've brought a puppy and he got very irritable when I was at a certain stage of my cycle, and when I was ovulating he kept biting me. Now I'm over my period, he's calmed down a lot. Do you think this might be related?


I think that's highly likely. Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell. They have an enormous amount of surface area in their nose that's taken up with cells that respond to smells. That's why dogs are used for tracking people's odours, finding explosives at airports and for hunting out victims of avalanches, which they can sniff out under the snow. So dogs will be much more sensitive to the changes in the odour of someone due to the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle than humans will.


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