• Rob McNeil

See the world through a dogs nose...

What?! I can hear you say as you let out a little chuckle thinking I've made my first typo without even getting past the title!

Did you know that dogs suss out their surroundings using their nose? Yes, obviously their eyes play a part as well but it's using their nose that dogs get most of the information they need! They have around 300 million scent receptors in their nose which is around 40 times more than us humans! The canine nose puts ours to shame! Alexandra Horowitz in her book ‘Inside of a Dog’ stated:

“We might notice if our coffee’s been sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar; a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water: two Olympic-sized pools full.”

Imagine that! Being able to sniff out a teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic pools!

Now I want you to think back to the last walk you took with your dog and think about how long they spent sniffing the grass and just imagine how many different things they were taking in from that one spot!

Their olfactory system (sense of smell) links back with when dogs hunted for food and they had to be able to smell their dinner from a good distance in order to be able to hunt and kill their prey before it got away.

As dog handlers and owners we can and should be tapping into their olfactory system as much as we can. Incorporating some simple sniffing tasks throughout your dogs day will help keep their brain stimulated and also help settle them in the evenings! Sniffing exercises can be things as simple as find the treat games in long grass or more complexed designated scent work training.

The field of canine scent work is a fascinating one and one which I’m hoping to do a lot more work in.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments please either pop them below or get in touch!

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