Sniff Diagnosis


Great Pyrennees Dog Play and Sniff Diagnosis

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Dogs have a much more complexified and developped sniff (olfactory) mechanism that allows them to choose the type of food and herbs these mammals need. This human under-developed skill is such that a few medical clinics are starting to use dogs to detect cancer. (1)

In this perspective and on occasion, the Center can organize a Great Pyrennees play and sniff therapy session for those in need with the Center’s dog.  Because the Center’s dog, Farouchette (A beautiful irish setter) passed away, we are looking for another one and for now we are focused on the Great Pyrenees. These huge dogs (up to 130 pounds) (2)are not only very intuitive and playful, but they are great sniffers. Thus they can help not only to make one’s wellbeing neuropeptides work better, but they can also help to sniff out diseases. Once we learn how to train dogs for this task, we will be looking to adopt  one of these dogs or possibly another.

The Great Pyrenees, chosen to be Louis XIV’s and the French Nobility’s “Royal Dog

French poodles may be more intelligent (according to dog journals), but Great Pyrenees may be more “healing”.  Indeed, the Great Pyrenees (chien de montagne des Pyrénées),  with his-her gentle but fierce protection qualities, originally from Tibet area, came to the Pyrénees over 5000 years and has been employed as a goat and sheep guardian and family dog for millenia. Given the dog’s strong family and happiness character, mingled with its fierce protection qualities and strong instincs (both intuition and sniff power), the Great Pyrennees (chien de montagne des Pyrénées) was baptised the “Royal Dog of France by the Sun King of France, Louis the Fourteenth.

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Below, a few quotes that describe this dog’s temperament.

” My Great Pry Wendy is almost 6, and I’ll have at least one Pyr, preferably 2–a male and female the rest of my life. I forget how beautiful they are because I’m blown away by their emotion/intuitive intelligence. They are truly happiness therapy in a furry white coat. I always feel safe in my home with her on alert to sounds from the yard or street and her big bark from inside my home is enough to deter intruders. She is so gentle with grandkids, and calm (as in stretched out on the floor) when I have company over. Wendy is also very protective of my smaller rescue dog, and races to the rescue anytime the smaller one barks. (….) (Protecting sheep, she will hold this pose for up to 30 minutes or so, sometimes with eyes closed, often with eyes open, and it seems very Buddhist. This is the world’s coolest dog.” (Source)

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“In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle (especially with children), and affectionate. While territorial and protective of its flock or family when necessary, its general demeanor is of composure and patience and loyalty. It is a strong willed, independent and reserved breed. It is also attentive, quite fearless and loyal to its duties. The Great Pyrenees’ size makes it an imposing guardian. A dog of this breed will patrol its perimeter and may wander away if left off its leash in an unenclosed space. The Great Pyrenees protects its flock by barking, and being nocturnal, tends to bark at night unless trained against such behavior.” (3)

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Recent History

The real spread of the Great Pyrenees out of its mountains developed in the 19th century with the birth of Romanticism. This breed, first appreciated for its beauty and poise, and then by its innate temperamental qualities, gained fame in the rest of Europe. Great Pyrenees were introduced in America by General Lafayette in 1824.. By the early 19th century there was a thriving market for the dogs in mountain towns, from which they would be taken to other parts of France. The dog was developed to be agile in order to guard sheep on steep, mountainous slopes.

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Sniff and Playfulness Therapy

Dogs having a very developed olfactory sense, different cancer clinics are starting to use them for cancer detection. While we are working on this, we would be more focused on canine happiness therapy via high energy playfulness and dog teachings, in particular with regards to sniffing abilities. Indeed, of all of our senses and brain activities, our olfactory receptors are ones of the least used. In the Center’s workshops on aromatherapy and wine, we delve into how  to develop this organ for both food detection and neurogenesis.



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