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How well can your dog smell?

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Tall, short, fat or skinny, all dogs have one thing in common: an amazing sense of smell.

Dog noses are not only cute and kissable, but useful to! Our dogs’ sense of smell is amazing, at least compared to what us humans can do.

But to really understand what dogs can do, let’s start by taking an in-depth look at looking our canine companions superior sniffer:

1. Scientists guess the dog’s sense of smell is somewhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours
2. While all dog breeds have an excellent sense of smell, not all noses are created equally. Dogs with short noses, such the Bulldogs, have less space for scent detecting cells than dogs with a longer snout.
3. The Best Nose Award goes to the Bloodhound! He takes the lead with has some 300 million scent receptors. Other sporting breeds like the Bluetick Coonhound, Labrador Retriever, and herding breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog follow closely behind.
4. For every one receptor we have, the dog has about fifty.
5. Humans breathe and smell through the same air passage in our nose. When dog’s breath, a fold of tissue separates the two functions of smelling and respiration.
6. Breeds like Bloodhounds and Basset Hounds, use their ears to facilitate their smelling abilities. Floppy ears fan the ground’s smells up to the dog’s nose.
7. Scent-tracking dogs are able to ignore thousands of other smells on their path to keep their eyes on the prize.
8. Many search dogs, such as German Shepherds, use air-scent, working to catch scents carried by the wind.
9. A dog’s cold, wet nose helps the dog smell the world more effectively.

Okay so we know their noses are good, but what does that mean to us? Dogs help humans track, identify and sniff out all kinds of things that improve our human lives!

  • Rabbits, fox, birds, other quarry for hunters
  • Lawbreakers on the run
  • Cancer
  • Traces of peanuts in food
  • Bed bugs
  • Drugs
  • Contraband
  • Sulphide-containing rocks (which are valuable)
  • Truffles
  • Infections diseases
  • Missing persons
  • Cadavers
  • Cows going into heat (yes, you read it right)
  • Explosives
  • Scat of wildlife such as Cheetahs or whales
  • Arson
  • Strangers approaching the yard

All statements and opinions in " How Well Can Your Dog Smell?" are the sole opinions of the I-5 Publishing, publishers of Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy publications and not those of CareCredit. The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual medical provider with respect to any professional advice presented. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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