Do you know that a dog’s sense of smell is 1000 to 10,000 times better than the humans!! Percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analysing smells is around 40 times larger than that of a human. An average human has around 5 million scent receptors in the nose as compared to 225 million that a German Shepherd can have. And hence dogs have a superhuman sense of smell resulting into some of the most amazing behaviour.
Amazing facts about nose structure
But do you know that dogs have two different air passages, one for breathing and another for smelling (as seen in the illustration). This means that dogs are able to store the smell in their nose even while breathing out the air. And hence the dogs can follow the same scent for huge distances without getting distracted by other surrounding scents. A dog’s nose has a unique pattern of ridges and dimples like a human being’s fingerprints. Some kennel clubs even register nose prints as a way of identifying and helping to locate lost or stolen dogs.
Why is a dogs nose always wet?
You must have also noticed that a dog’s nose is always wet. The reason is that mucus on the dog’s nose helps it smell by capturing scent particles. Also a dog has the ability to smell independently from each nostril resulting into an ability to smell the direction from which the smell is coming. This helps in detecting and following the source.
Power of smell
We perceive the world through our vision, while the dogs experience the world through their olfactory sense. Dogs can discover a lot more about something by just smelling it. When a dog greets another dog through sniffing, he is trying to find whether the other dog is male or female, the age of the dog, what food he had, even able to smell if the female is pregnant. Generally, dogs with longer snouts can smell better as their noses have more olfactory glands like Bloodhounds.
Your dog smells you!!
It is well documented that dogs can smell emotions like fear, anxiety and sadness. Adrenaline hormone which is undetectable by our noses can be smelt by dogs. Fear or anxiety is also accompanied by increased heart rate and blood flow thereby triggering chemical reactions inside the body which can easily be smelled by dogs.