The Sense of Smell

The olfactory center is the most developed part of a wolf's brain, as it is of your dog's, and it's where DogSpeak begins. A wolf's acute sense of smell lets it identify airborne scents from a distance of several miles and alerts to the presence of prey (the next meal) as well as to their only dangerous enemy, man. The sensitive nose of the wolf can track its prey through the animal's scent on freshly crushed vegetation or can locate an injured animal through the scent of just one drop of its blood. Wolves even can pursue prey through water, using as little as a single drop of urine or blood within 10,000 gallons of water to stay on track. This keen nose, by the way, has been bred selectively into today's scent hounds.

Read another excerpt from DogSpeak:
The Sense of Smell
The Sense of Hearing
The Sense of Sight
Vocalization
Body Language

From DOGSPEAK by Bashkim Dibra. Copyright © 1999 by Bashkim Dibra. Reprinted with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Wolves use their highly developed sense of smell in social ways as well. Within their pack setting, wolves can recognize, by their unmistakable scents, each and every member of their pack, distinguishing them from intruding members of other packs. It's a faculty which helps maintain established boundaries, allowing no interlopers. Their keen noses tell them when females are in season or when a fellow pack member is ill and wants to be left alone. And when the Alpha female produces a litter, each pack member sniffs every pup, imprinting permanently on their consciousness the scent that says "I'm one of you." This remarkable olfactory sense is genetically hard--wired into your own dog, making up the most developed center of the brain and controlling, to a great degree, your dog's behavior. The olfactory center of a dog's brain is fourteen times larger than man's, making its nose a hundred times more sensitive. Wolves can recognize scents at a mile and a half downwind! Dogs, like wolves, can detect substances in concentrations up to 100 million times lower than what humans can detect. Understanding the mind of your dog means acknowledging a sense of smell so highly developed and formidable that it is almost incomprehensible to us humans. But for dogs, it's just the A in the DogSpeak alphabet.

Read another excerpt from DogSpeak:
The Sense of Smell
The Sense of Hearing
The Sense of Sight
Vocalization
Body Language

From DOGSPEAK by Bashkim Dibra. Copyright © 1999 by Bashkim Dibra. Reprinted with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Like this? Want more?
preview
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web