As a dog parent, you’ve been through these many times. While out on a walk with your dog, he suddenly bolts toward what seems to you a patch of ordinary grass. Then, there’s this one tree along the sidewalk he can’t stop sniffing at. It’s normal for your dog to sniff away. After all, it’s what they do best.
So, what’s the scientific aspect of this activity? Dogs have a far superior olfactory sense compared to that of humans. Specifically, they have 220 million to two billion smell receptors compared to our meager five million, and 60-67 squared inches of nasal tissue versus our 0.8-2 squared inches. That translates to being 50-1000 superior to us in that sense.
This does not only provide him an understanding of the environment but also act as reference for social behavior and communication. Notice how canines stare at each other in greeting and sniffing one another’s anus to distinguish scents. Smelling develop even as early as gestation period which explains why pups prefer certain food given them at this time.
In their first 10 weeks, a pup’s olfactory sense is believed to further develop when their mom feeds them milk, regurgitated meals, and secured food, which is also how they recognize their mom. So, when you can, allow your canine to sniff away. It’s not only fun for them but also educational. There are games or courses that you can do together to enhance this amazing sense!