Dogs and Sniffing

Aug 03, 2020 12:37 | Health & Religion
Loading..

Dogs are born to sniff. The area of the canine brain that is devoted to analysing scent is 40 times greater than that of the human and dogs can identify smells at least 1,000 times better than we can. When a dog sniffs, air is taken in and passes through the olfactory epithelium (nasal skin cells). These calls are also found in a special organ that dogs (and cats) possess, called the Jacobsen’s or vomeronasal organ. This organ is thought to be important in the detection of pheromones (body scents), perhaps giving the dog its tremendous ability to identify and recognise animals and people. 


Each dog nose is unique, with its own distinct nostril shape and pattern of ridges and dimples. A canine nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint. Dogs can distinguish the scent of individuals, both dogs and people. They can tell the difference between individual family members, even identical twins, purely by smell.Dogs can tell from sniffing a tree or lamppost when a dog has passed, who it is and what status they have – male/female, top dog or not.,


When dogs sniff people they are gaining all sorts of information about us. They know if we are familiar or a stranger. They know which scents we have attracted while we’ve been away. They know if we are experiencing changes in hormones, such as those that occur during pregnancy. They may even know if we are experiencing illness or simply are in a bad mood.


Detection dogs are able to recognize and discern a scent, even when that scent has been masked by another odor. This is because dogs smell in layers, allowing them to detect individual ingredients. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.[1] The sense most used by detection dogs is smell. Hunting dogs that search for game, and search dogs that work to find missing humans are generally not considered detection dogs. There is some overlap, as in the case of cadaver dogs, trained to search for human remains.