Tag Archives: Smell

Dog Tip of The Day, July 30

A dog’s abiltiy to smell is affected by poor dental care.  Your dog’s teeth need daily cleaning and hygiene just like we do.  Dogs really don’t like you messing with their teeth unless you start to do this at a young age.  When the puppy is as young as eight weeks, put your fingers in its mouth everyday and rub and feel it’s teeth.  It isn’t recommended to begin brushing at this early age, but I would suggest putting a pet toothbrush in their mouth very gently around the teeth to get them used to it.  There are gels available from pet stores that aid in keeping the teeth clean.  When the dog gets older, I would recommend using these gels daily and also a light brushing.  Even if your dog is not a working dog, such as an air scenter or trailer, they still rely heavily on their sense of smell.

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Dog Tip of The Day, July 24

Did you know that a German Shepherd has 220 million Olfactory (smell) receptor cells?  Humans only have about 5 million.  Did you know that at the ends of these receptor cells there are around 100 to 150 cilia.  We only have about six.  Cilia are not hairs, even though many people like to describe them like that.  They are cellular organelles that are used for movement.  These organelles help the dog move scent vapors through it’s nose. A dog also has a wet nose, (our nose is only wet on the inside).  The moisture helps trap the scent molecules.  The dogs nose is also shaped like a comma.  This causes vapors entering the nose to travel in a circular path which increases the travel path through the nose.  There is also an organ called a Jacob’s Organ or vomeronasal organ, which is a sacklike organ found in many animals.  It is well developed in dogs. These structures not only allow a dog’s nose to detect scent molecules, they allow for separation of those molecules, much the way a gas chromatograph separates molecules in a chemistry laboratory.  And finally, a dogs olfactory lobe is very large. It is the size of a walnut in a German Shepherd and only the size of a pea in our brain. So when you see your dog sniffing around, or following an air or ground scent, just realize that we cannot even relate to how well they smell things.

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