If you thought teaching your dog to shake was a feat, try teaching your canine to sniff out lung cancer. Sniffer dogs like Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds can detect certain chemical compounds that escape the human nose. A German study proved that the canines could sniff out seven out of ten patients with lung cancer.

Unfortunately, dogs cannot communicate what scents they detect. By identifying the chemicals dogs sniff, scientists could use this information to combat the early stages of lung cancer. Searching for these lung-specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs), however, has proven difficult and unreliable.

After an extensive eleven week dog training course, the dogs could successfully identify 71 out 100 samples with lung cancer. They could also independently detect lung cancer from tobacco smoke and prescription drugs. The real question, though, is whether or not dogs can sniff out lung cancer in undiagnosed patients. The study needs to head in that direction, given that the study’s patients had been previously diagnosed with lung cancer. Know more.