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Welcome to the COVID-19 Detection Dogs Study

Investigating whether bio-detection dogs could be trained to detect the odour of COVID-19 infection on humans.




Arctech Innovation, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Medical Detection Dogs and Durham University ran a study training dogs to identify unique odours associated with coronavirus infection.


Who we are


Meet the interdisciplinary group of researchers involved in this exciting study, all of whom have extensive experience working with volatile compounds and human infection.


Meet the dogs


Meet the six dogs that were trained to detect if someone has COVID-19 and could play a vital role in preventing further spread of the pandemic in future.


Why use dogs?


Dogs are great biosensors, capable of detecting odours associated with drugs, explosives, and food and are now being used in practice for public health to detect diseases such as malaria.




We’re delighted to announce that our COVID-19 dogs are now training and being tested in real-life settings such as testing centres, workplaces and events and conferences as part of their final stage of validation (Phase 3).

In this final phase of testing, the dogs will indicate if they smell the odour associated with COVID-19 on a consented individual in a real-world environment. The individual will then take a PCR test to confirm that the dog has correctly indicated. It’s fast, reliable, non-invasive and will help to prevent onward transmission.

This follows publication of the results of the first phase of our study in the Journal of Travel Medicine, which demonstrated COVID-19 infection does have a distinct smell which dogs can detect with incredible accuracy.


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