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A Dog’s Nose

Have you seen the film, ‘Scent of a Woman?’ In the film the famous actor Al Pacino plays a blind man and through his sense of smell he can tell a lot about women that he meets.

In one particular scene a young woman sits down behind Al Pacino and his friend. Pacino instantly says, ‘Chestnut hair, 22, extremely beautiful.’ His companion is completely amazed by this ‘skill.’

Well obviously Al Pacino’s friend has never owned a dog! A person’s sense of smell is nothing when compared to that of dogs.

A person can smell big, obvious aromas such as perfume or fish. A dog can not only detect that the smell is fish but he/she can also tell which stream it came from, who handled the fish, what sort of chemicals were actually in the water that it came from and how long it had been in the water.

The key to a dog’s success is the fact that both cats and dogs communicate via smells, they can obtain a whole myriad of information from simply sniffing one another and through smelling us. Through just sniffing a dog can ascertain whether we are friend or foe, where we have been and also even what kind of mood we are currently in.

When your dog relieves itself it is not just simply ‘going to the toilet’ it is leaving a mark of its scent, a bit like we would write a note for each other, dogs leave messages via their scent.

Think about such dogs as ‘sniffer’ dogs. These clever canines rely on their noses to assist them in their daily tasks. They can sniff out drugs and danger way before a human can.

Dogs during competitions are also trained to rely on their sense of smell during the obedience section. A cloth is covered in their handlers scent and then placed in position amongst numerous, identical cloths the dog is then ‘sent away’ to retrieve the cloth marked with the aroma of their handler.

Basically to put it into simple terms your dog’s sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times better than yours! Meaning that your canine friend can distinguish and identify many more scents than you can.

Also a dog holds onto a scent much longer than we do, as we breathe in the scent molecules drift past the olfactory membranes and just float out when we exhale. Dogs and puppies however possess a special chamber within their nose that traps pockets of air. This then allows the dog to collect scent molecules until they are satisfied that they have enough to actually identify the smell.

Once a dog recognises a certain aroma it will never forget it, they have an amazing ability to identify and remember different, individual smells. Simply by just sniffing a tree or post they can not only tell which dogs were there but also what they ate for their dinner!

Instead of asking a potential new doggy pal their name they will ask ‘their smell.’ Your dog can keep tabs on you via their nose, they can smell where you have been and also will immediately know if you have been keeping the company of another dog!
So when your dog next sniffs you when you come home, beware, because he/she is not simply saying ‘hello’ they are actually ‘giving you the third degree’ via their nose!

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