Taking time to smell the world

By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2017
Category: Animal Airwaves

Dogs crush us humans when it comes to their sense of smell. Compared to our 6 million smell receptors, dogs have an astounding 300 million. And while we sniff every one and a half seconds, dogs go at it five to 10 times in that same amount of time. Dogs have even devised a way of exhaling while they continue smelling, so they don’t miss a beat.

Even licking boosts a dog’s sense of smell via a specialized organ near the roof of its mouth. This lets the dog detect tissue-bound as well as air-borne smells. For example, molecules in anal glands provide clues to a dog’s feelings. That’s why dogs like to meet and greet with a sniff to the rear. And tail wagging helps by advertising the odors.

So whether you enroll your dog in nosework classes or just take her out for a long walk, give her time to smell the world—as only a dog can do.