Monday, January 12, 2015

The dog's sense of smell

Most dog owners know their furry friends have a fantastic sense of smell, but how good is it really? Put into numbers, the dog's nose is truly amazing.

Dogs have a sense of smell around 1,000 better than a human's. A human has around five million cells able to detect smells, and the average dog has over 220 million.

The part of the brain that interprets smell is four times larger in the average dog than in the average human.

Some dogs can smell termites, natural gas buried under 40 feet of dirt, and dead bodies under water.

Dogs trained for the task can detect cancer while it is still too small to be detected by any medical equipment. They can also find lung cancer through sniffing a person's breath.

A dog's nose print is unique - as unique as a human finger print - and can be used for identification.

The dog's nose is generally wet, because this makes it able to collect more tiny droplets of smell in the air.

Besides the nose, a pair of average dog ears also outclass humans. A dog can locate the source of a sound in 1/600 of a seconds, and can hear sounds four times further away than a human.

~ Maria Sadowski ~ 


  1. Smell and dogs is such a huge topic. Mom is learning so much about it with our tracking and nose work. It is also true when dogs start using their smell for what it was intended, like nose work it opens up new areas in the brain which were previously dormant. We also sound totally different now when we really go sniffing. Mom says it is to fascinating!

    1. It is fascinating! I didn't know that nose work can open up dormant areas - I bet the world is different to you now. I can't even imagine how a dog experiences the world, but I would sure love to know.