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All about dogs

Dogs can see with their noses, like Smellovision!

Dogs are multi-talented, obviously, but their sense of smell is so much better than ours that dogs can do jobs that humans simply can’t.

A dog’s sense of smell is many, many times better than ours. Dogs can smell more things, from further away. They can also hold a scent in their noses while they breathe in and out. Try doing that!

Dogs’ noses are wet, allowing smells to stick. Dogs can also lick their own noses to find out what that smell might be, so they are getting clues from smell and taste.

This natural skill they have makes them amazing at finding people who are lost. They can track a person’s scent over miles and even find people who have been buried in the snow. Give a dog a piece of clothing worn by a person and the dog can remember it, pick up the scent in the air and go and find that person.

Even more amazing, dogs can be trained to smell medical problems. They can detect the slight differences in scent from people with disease and alert that person to go and see a doctor. Dogs can save lives this way, and they do!

And dogs can tell a person’s emotions from how they smell. We smell slightly different when we are happy or sad, or scared or angry. Dog’s can pick up on those smells and know what mood we’re in!

Dogs can’t just smell better than humans, they can also hear better. They can hear quieter noises from much further away. Which makes them great guards. They can hear a twig breaking a hundred metres away, wake you up and alert you to danger!

What helps them to do this is the muscles in their ears. Dogs have 18 muscles controlling each ear and can move them around to get the right angle to pick up on sounds.

​The super keen hearing, plus the super keen sense of smell, makes dogs able to detect danger much earlier than we can, and find out where it is coming from and even what the danger might be. Police and military all over the world keep dogs for exactly those reasons.