Can Drug Dogs Smell Steroids? All Explained

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 6, 2023
Can Drug Dogs Smell Steroids

Significant advancements have been made in drug detection over the years. One highly effective tool in this field is drug-sniffing dogs, with their highly trained noses.

These canines are renowned for their ability to detect a wide range of substances, from cannabis to heroin, to ketamine and MDMA.

But what about steroids? Can these four-legged detectives sniff out these performance-enhancing substances as well? Let’s delve into this topic.

Drug Dogs and Steroids: The Basics

In theory, drug-sniffing dogs could be trained to smell common steroids like testosterone or nandrolone. These dogs have a super strong sense of smell, which lets them sniff out things we humans can’t smell at all.

But, the important thing here is training. Whether a dog can smell a certain thing depends on if it’s been trained to recognize that smell.

For example, dogs can smell steroid pills and stuff you inject, but usually, they’re not trained for this. Drug-sniffing dogs primarily focus on illegal narcotics, not performance-enhancing steroids.

The Challenges of Training Dogs to Detect Steroids

While technically possible, training dogs to sniff out steroids presents certain challenges. For one, steroids are derivatives of male hormones. A trained dog can detect testosterone and similar compounds. This could lead the dog to identify male sweat as contraband.

Additionally, the use of steroids can affect a dog’s olfactory function. Certain steroids, such as dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, can raise a dog’s smell sensitivity. Research has proven this. This means that a dog exposed to these substances could become less effective at detecting other scents.

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In Conclusion

So, can drug dogs smell steroids? The answer isn’t black and white. These dogs have a keen sense of smell, but don’t usually detect steroids. Drug detection dogs primarily focus on illegal drugs, such as cannabis and heroin. They also detect other narcotics.

The world of drug detection is constantly changing. It’s important to stay updated on future developments in this field. Will we see a new generation of sniffer dogs trained to detect performance-enhancing drugs? Only time will tell.


Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.