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How powerful is a dog’s sense of smell?

May 08, 2023

Duncan Houston

A dog's sense of smell is incredibly powerful and can be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human's, depending on the breed. Dogs have around 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. Additionally, the part of a dog's brain that is dedicated to analyzing smells is about 40 times larger than a human's relative to their brain size.

This extraordinary sense of smell allows dogs to detect various substances, odors, and even emotions. It's why they are often used for tasks such as search and rescue missions, tracking, detecting drugs, explosives, and even diseases like cancer. Each dog breed may have varying levels of olfactory sensitivity, with breeds like Bloodhounds, Beagles, and German Shepherds being particularly known for their exceptional sense of smell.