Oh The Stories A Dog’s Nose Can TellAllison Espiritu
A dog’s schnoz is their go-to when it comes to finding a place to do their business. But what do they get out of these smells, especially when sniffing out another dog’s droppings? Is it really necessary?
Surprisingly, sniffing out the next spot to go potty doesn’t just tell them if it’s unmarked territory. With just one whiff dogs are able to learn how many dogs have used that spot, how long they’ve been in the area, how they are feeling, and whether their canine counterparts were male or female.
A dog’s nose is between 1,000 or 10,000 times more sensitive than our noses, so we can only imagine what scents they can pick-up.
Their talent for smell can also prevent them from walking into danger. Steve Dale of My Pet World explains, “without seeing the pet who peed, the dog who sniffs may determine if the dog who left the message behind was terrified or generally contented (at the time).”
By following their nose Fido can also show dominance, stay in touch with their four-legged friends, and attract the opposite sex.
“When he sniffs where another dog has enjoyed potty time, your pooch is likely to pee in the same spot to mark it as his own,” says The Daily Puppy reporter, Rob Hainer. “In his mind, this gives him the strategic advantage as the big dog — at least the most recent one.”
Also when it comes to female dogs they tend to urinate more often while in heat to attract available male counterparts. Like a game of cat and mouse, female dogs will wait for possible prospects to sniff what she’s left behind, which will cause a reaction for the male to frantically search for her.
But like humans, there is also competition in the doggy dating game. If a female in heat smells where another female has left her scent she may mark the spot to steal all the male attention.
So instead of using words and body language to communicate with each other like we do, our dogs instead use their 220 million scent receptors. They’re communicating a lot more than we think, and effectively too!