Are dogs better than humans

Dogs have an extremely good sense of smell. You are able to recognize and distinguish even very old smells. A contact of a few seconds is enough for the dog to pick up a smell and distinguish it from others or to follow it. How come



The dog's nose is much more sensitive than that of humans. This is shown by the number of olfactory cells, although there are considerable differences between the dog breeds. Roughly speaking: the longer the dog's snout, the more surface area with sensory cells, the better the smell.

Human ~ 5 million olfactory cells
Dachshund ~ 125 million olfactory cells
German Shepherd ~ 220 million olfactory cells

Measurements have shown that the dog's olfactory ability is about 1 million times better than that of humans. The dog can breathe in short breaths up to 300 times a minute, so that the olfactory cells are constantly supplied with new "olfactory material".

The most important "olfactory organ" is the brain, this is where the incoming data is processed and evaluated. In dogs, the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for processing is much larger than in humans, which means that what is perceived can be further differentiated.

Human ~ 500 mm2 olfactory brain (around 1% of the brain)
Dog ~ 7,000 mm2 olfactory brain (around 10% of the brain)

In summary, one can say that the dog is a macrosmatic and we humans are microsmatic. Dogs can still detect extremely low levels of odors.

Dogs also "taste" smells via the Jacobson's organ (vomeronasal organ), which is located in the palate. This immediately transports the recorded information to the limbic system. This is responsible for the development of feelings, the instinctual behavior and for the formation of hormones.

Sniffing not only provides the dog with information about its surroundings but also about its conspecifics, be it by sniffing the other person directly or indirectly smelling markings and leftovers. The dogs can leave "profiles" and messages. In addition, they can "smell" certain moods of people (fear, stress, nervousness etc. change the evaporation and smell of our body).

What do we infer from these facts about the handling of dogs?

  • Nose work is exhausting
    The dog's nose is highly developed and requires most of the energy from all sensory organs to work. Be careful that the dog does not overexert itself!

  • Nose work is satisfying
    Dogs love to be able to use and deploy their nose, to discover and explore the world in which they live, to find and follow traces. At the same time, it is fun for us humans too, because it is always amazing and fascinating how good our dogs are at it and how proud it makes us!

Book recommendation
Searching for traces, nose work step by step / Anne Lill Kvam

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