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Smell o'clock - how dogs tell the time with their noses

Alexandra Horowitz, a research scientist in the field of dog cognition and the author of the book Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell believes that dogs are able to use their keen sense of smell to determine what time of day it is:

Smells in a room change as the day goes on. Hot air rises, and it usually rises in currents along the walls and will rise to the ceiling and go kind of to the center of the room and drop. If we were able to visualize the movement of air through the day, what we're really visualizing is the movement of odor through the day.

Dogs can also tell who has visited a particular location in a room by the scent left behind. Horowitz postulates that they’re also able to determine how long ago that person or dog was there based on the intensity of the scent. Furthermore, they can detect what’s coming. “The future, in a way, is smelled on a breeze from up ahead or around the corner,” she explains.

To a dog, there is no such thing as “fresh air.” Every breath of air is loaded with information. In fact, what every dog - the tracking dog of course, and also the dog lying next to you, snoring, on the couch - knows about the world comes mostly through his nose.

Because of this innate ability, Horowitz urges owners to embrace the “smell walk” rather than pulling pets away from objects they’d like to sniff. After all, it’s their way of “seeing” and understanding the world.

Thankyou for reading,

Thankyou for reading,

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