Why Do Dogs Sniff?
Everything and Everyone!
“Why do dogs sniff?” and I do mean everything they can, including everyone they can a dog, will sniff incessantly and constantly, but why is the big question.
Did you know that dogs can smell things that people cannot? Very true, that is why like it or not they will continue to sniff things out that humans cannot smell.
Exploring Why Dogs Sniff Everything
A dog’s sense of smell is extremely sensitive to picking up more than the human nose can ever imagine, and it is one of the senses our fur friends can use to detect and evaluate many things.
Have you ever noticed that when you get home from being out and it really does not matter where you have gone that your dog will be on you the minute you walk in sniffing you up and down?
I have three dogs and this is the one routine I can count on the minute I walk in the door is a greeting and then a sniff down for them to see where I have been.
Heaven forbid if it was a place that had other animals whether it be another dog, cat, or any pet of another type that I touched or it touched me. At times they will offer the cold shoulder should it be a new smell to them and at others, they cannot take in enough of the scent and will not stop with the sniffing. (I think they then are accepting the other animal.)
Just walking across the street and back from a small store they will be all over my shoes and pick up new smells that have attached themselves this never lasts long due to the fact I live in a small town and not too many new ones to pick up.
Most pet owners know this about their dogs but for the new pet owners out there dogs will when greeting another dog start at the butt and smell them in the pet world this is very normal and is believed to be their way of saying hello.
Do not discourage this behavior as long as no aggression from either party is involved once the initial butt greeting has occurred then this usually does not happen again if the animals are left to get to know one another the first time around.
Dog’s Smell Illnesses
This is very true not in all dogs I am sure, but they can smell illnesses in humans and other species, people who have cancer. Cancer has a smell that dogs will pick up and in the very early stages so be aware of a dog that is attached to a certain part of the anatomy of a person, especially a family member.
Dogs will pick up on things such as toothaches, ear infections, fevers, plus other illnesses especially in children so if your dog is paying close attention to a small child’s ears you might want to have them checked for a possible infection.
Should your dog be licking your ears this probably comes from times when they used to groom each other in the pack prior to becoming a domesticated animal they would take care of each other as pack animals cleaning each other.
Wondering how all of this is possible for your dog to smell these things? It comes from what is known as the Jacobson’s organ, also called the vomeronasal organ.
This is an organ of chemoreception part of the olfactory system of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals but does not occur in all tetrapod groups. This patch of sensory cells inside the main nasal chamber detects heavy moisture-borne odor particles.
Dogs Trained In Smells
Certain breeds of dogs can have up to 40-50 times the scent receptors than humans, this makes their sense of smell at least 100,000 times stronger than ours!
Dogs can be trained to sniff out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the human body, helping with early detection of illnesses, including cancer.
Other dogs are trained to sniff out drugs that people are trying to smuggle into other countries no matter how hard they try to disguise or hide them the sense of smell for these dogs will locate them.
The amount of things that dogs can be trained for with their sense of smell is numerous and knowing this has made jobs for firefighters, police, bomb experts, and many other professions much easier.
It is very true that a dog can smell death, so when there is someone that is getting close to leaving this world a dog will be able to tell way before any human.
A brighter side to their sense of smell is that they can also tell when a woman becomes pregnant, how you might say, her body chemistry changes due to the hormone change in her system. Who knows her smell better than the dog?
Answer to Why
With dogs the dominant sense is their sense of smell – this is the answer to why they do everything with their noses smelling to them is the most natural way to find things out about everything in their universe.
In humans, the apocrine glands are found only in certain areas of the body highest concentrations are in the armpits and the groin area where dogs are going to try to sniff just like they do when greeting other dogs they sniff the genital areas.
So now the next time you are wondering why your dog or someone else’s dog is going crazy smelling you the answer has been explained. It might be an embarrassing situation for you or whoever is getting sniffed but the dog has no clue why you are embarrassed this is just natural for them.
With this article explaining why dogs sniff things and why they are trained with their sense of smell, I think it gives people a much better understand the next time a dog decides to come over and push their nose up your butt.
Yes, you can laugh I know I did! Did you learn anything from this article today?
The next time your dog is sniffing inappropriately are you going to correct the person or the dog?
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