Watson here, and I am the king of sniffing out goodies wherever they may be. Unfortunately, Dad takes away all the great stuff I sleuth out. Just yesterday, I found a dead fish basking in the sun. Delicious, but before I could get it, Dad tossed it into the trash.
We have wondrous noses that are much more sophisticated than humans’ noses. In fact, dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors compared to the measly 6 million humans have. Dogs can smell 100,000 times better than people can. Not only that, the part of our brains dedicated to interpreting sniff data is 40 times larger than in humans.
Our noses also serve two functions, smelling, and breathing. One little known fact about our noses is that we can breathe in and out at the same time. We have continuous circulation of air, which operates as our air conditioning system. We can separate air, because one portion goes directly to the olfactory sensing area and the other portion to breathing.
Smelling in 3-D is our specialty, because we can smell separately with each nostril. Our brains create a 3-D odor profile using the smell from each nostril. From this profile we are able determine exactly where the smelly object is located.
We also have a special organ that gives us an “extra” sense of smell. The vomeronasal organ helps detect pheromones, the chemical signals that dogs give off. Amazingly, we can also tell time by sniffing the ground. By identifying tiny reductions in the concentrations of odor molecules, tracking dogs are able to determine where a person or dog has gone.
So, who has the best sniffer in the dog world? Hound breed dogs have the best sense of smell, but German Shepherds and Labradors rank high in their smelling abilities, too. Who is the best sniffer at my house? Me! I can sniff a picnic basket a mile away!
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We will have a booth at the Cantaloupe Festival stop by and say hello.
Look for the CAPS float in the Labor Day Parade.CAPS is now open, we suggest appointments for adoptions, SNAPS, and food pantry. We cannot accept volunteers until further notice. Call 775-423-7500.
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