The dog's sense of smell

The dog's sense of smell

While for humans the most developed sense is sight, for dogs it is smell. However, what we have in common is that we each use our most developed sense to analyze our environment. For example, when you visit a new place, you will first observe the place. Well, the dog will sniff.

The sense of smell also helps them to communicate with other dogs. They secrete hormones between them that can indicate, among other things, that the dog is afraid, angry or that a female dog is in heat. Have you ever wondered why your dog is not very motivated to go to the vet? Well, he's probably feeling all the stress hormones that other dogs have left behind. 😋

Dog educator Roxane Fumeaux of Déclic Canin also gives us some interesting information:

The dog's sense of smell is estimated to be 1000 to 10000 times better than the human's. Moreover, for humans, only 10% of the brain is responsible for processing olfactory information, while for dogs, 40% of the brain is dedicated to this.

This shows how important this sense is for them. It is also the only active sense at birth. Nevertheless, not all breeds have the same degree of sensitivity to smell. Indeed, dogs with a flattened snout like bulldogs will be less efficient than dogs with a long snout like labradors.

On the other hand, it is important to know that the smell can be trained. Some dogs are so effective that they are used in different ways.

Epilepsy alert dogs have the capacity to detect a seizure up to several minutes before it occurs. Or detection dogs work with customs or police to search for drugs, weapons or explosives.

Finally, our dog educator gives you a little advice for your future walks:

When going for a walk, it is better to make a shorter distance but give the dog time to smell the odors. Indeed, dogs need to sniff. For example, when discovering a new environment, it will help your dog feel more comfortable.  On the other hand, if you don't give your dog enough of this freedom, he could feel negative emotions.