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How Your Dog ‘Tastes’ the World Around Them!

Did you know that dogs don’t just smell with their noses? They also ‘taste’ smells using special olfactory sensors in the roof of their mouths.

  1. A Superior Sense of Smell: Dogs possess an extraordinary sense of smell, significantly superior to that of humans. This exceptional ability is why dogs are commonly used in search-and-rescue missions, drug detection, and even disease diagnosis across Australia.
  2. Smelling Through the Mouth: Dogs are equipped with a unique organ known as the Jacobson’s organ, or the vomeronasal organ, situated in the roof of their mouth. This organ is pivotal in boosting their olfactory perception.
  3. How It Works: When dogs slightly open their mouths while sniffing, they’re allowing scents to reach the Jacobson’s organ. This process is akin to ‘tasting’ the smell, providing them with more detailed information than their nose alone.
  4. The Role in Behaviour: This organ is particularly beneficial in detecting pheromones, chemical signals essential in animal communication. It aids in social interactions, finding mates, and recognising territorial boundaries.
  5. Training Implications: Understanding this facet of canine biology can greatly enhance training techniques. Recognising the significance of scent in a dog’s life, trainers can devise more effective and engaging training strategies.

Next time you observe your dog seemingly tasting the air, remember, they’re experiencing the world in a way we can barely imagine. This incredible ability is just one of the many reasons dogs are such fascinating and beloved companions.

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Justin Jordan Trainer

Justin Jordan

Master Trainer

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