Can dogs smell illness?

I’ve heard about dogs who can smell illness and I’m wondering if Kora is one of them. My neighbor, Brenda, has advanced cancer and Kora goes ballistic around her. Brenda is a dog-friendly person (she has a dog herself), but anytime Kora and I go near her, Kora barks uncontrollably. It’s not a friendly bark, either. She won’t quiet down no matter what I do. Even if I’m 6 feet or more away, Kora barks, barks, barks.

Today, I went over to a friend’s house to get something from her. Kora has met my friend previously, and there was no issue. My friend’s husband is very sick right now and he was at the house. When my friend opened the door, Kora went into her crazy dog mode, barking uncontrollably. My friend tried to give her a carrot, and Kora just kept barking. The bark is threatening, it’s not a friendly bark.

It’s very embarrassing to have a dog that kicks you while you’re already down. When people are sick, you want to show them kindness not meanness. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I’m thinking of hiring our dog trainer and having her witness Kora in these instances to help me in these situations because I’m at a loss as to what to do other than to leave.

It’s frustrating to have an unpredictable dog because I feel like I have to be on high alert all the time. Kora is an angel about 95% of the time, but 5% of the time she will meanly bark at someone and I just have no idea why. I don’t think she would ever bite someone, but she does get aggressive enough that people are scared by her.

Any and all help and insights appreciated.

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One Response to Can dogs smell illness?

  1. I don’t, but one of my friend’s dogs barks and growls at people with disabilities. I’m not sure how you deal with that particular behavior.

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