A dog’s nose is nothing to sneeze at. As you know, Bailie and I have been doing scent work for over a year now and Bailie has been tracking since August. Since these two sports are based on our sense of smell, Mom has been busy learning all about how a dog’s nose works. We could probably blog forever about the workings of our noses, but today I wanted to share five facts you most likely do not know about a dog’s nose and how it works.
1. Wet nose. Humans love to discuss our wet noses – is it good, bad, what does it mean? Our noses are damp/wet to better capture odor when it passes by. The damp nose acts like glue to capture and hold on to the odors.
2. Two nostrils. Dog’s noses have two nostrils just as human noses do, but, did you know each nostril works independently? As we inhale, each nostril processes the odor and air in its own manner. Some call this sniffing in stereo.
3. Inhaling. When a dog inhales, the air/odor hits a small fold of tissue in the nose which separates the odor into two separate folds. One is used for breathing, the other is used for smelling.
4. Exhaling. While humans inhale and exhale through their nostrils, dog’s noses do not. Dogs inhale through their nostrils, but exhale through the slits on the sides of their noses. When the exhaled air exits through the slits, it creates a circular air pattern which draws in even more odor allowing the odor to build up inside the nose.
5. Vomeronasal Organ. Besides the Olfactory system for smelling which is much larger in dogs than in humans, the dog has a Vomeraonasal Organ. The Vomeronasal Organ is like a second Olfactory system and is responsible for picking up odors which cannot be seen such as hormones and emotions. It is this organ which gives a dog the ability to smell seizures coming on, detect illness, sense fear, and so much more.
If you and your human plan to participate in sports involving a dog’s nose, or are interested in training or working with any type of detection dog, it is helpful to learn how we work so you can better guide us and we can work together better as a team. If you would like to learn a bit more about dog’s noses, click here for a link to a four minute video. The video uses some simple illustrations to explain a bit more in depth what I’m barking about in this post. It is well worth watching, as it is really fascinating.
Every dog has a nose and all the information pertains to every dog, however, some dogs are better sniffers than others.
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!