Smell This! / Humans distort dog behavior

This post shows significant social distortions in dog behavior due to owner influence. This distortion also applies to human social behavior.

Note this paragraph:

“Conclusions: The authors of this study suggest that our dogs, living in a human-centered environment, may not always be using their noses to the extent of their actual ability. Perhaps when making decisions in everyday life dogs learn to depend too heavily upon social cues from their human companions, to the extent that they ignore information from their own senses.”

Is it not intuitive that socialization in humans follows this pattern of “stunting” or even “atrophy” of abilities which were present in early “wild humans” before agriculture-urbanization?


The Science Dog

Dogs smell things. A lot of things. A lot of the time. Their noses are very important to them.

Dog Nose

And, most dog folks would agree that the dog’s nose is a pretty amazing sense organ. Indeed, we capitalize on our dogs’ olfactory (smellin’) acuity when we train them to select scent articles in Utility training, follow a missing person’s trail, find contraband and other nasty stuff in public places, and even detect the presence of cancer in human patients. Research in recent years has shown us that the dog’s impressive smelling abilities are due to a number of pretty cool physical adaptations:

  1. LOTS OF CELLS: Dogs have hundreds of millions of olfactory receptor cells lining the inside of their nose; many times more than the number found in the human nose. This difference contributes to their ability to detect almost impossibly minute concentrations of compounds.  This large number of canine olfactory cells is enough to cause smell envy in…

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