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How Far Can A Dog Detect A Smell?

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
1ft away
Rajesh Shri Profile
Rajesh Shri answered
The sense of smell in dogs is far superior to human beings. The anatomy and physiology of the dog's nose are responsible for giving them the superior power of detecting odors. The shape and length of the muzzle, shape of the nostrils, and numerous cartilages like bones inside the nasal cavity help this too.

However, the main factor is the presence of the numerous hair like structures called the cilia on the bones. These cilia have the olfactory or odor detecting cells located on them which sense the smell. The number of these cilia varies in different breeds from 100 million to 300 million while humans have far lesser count, about 10 million. This number differs from breed to breed on how sensitive they are.

The other organ that is instrumental in giving dogs their superior sense of smell is the Jacobson's organ which is found on the roof of the mouth. The organ comprised of two fluid filled elongated sacs can detect chemicals which do not have a discernible odor.

However, how far they can smell is a qualitative question and will depend on many factors. The first group of factors is related to the smell itself. The stronger the smell, the greater the distance it will carry and hence will be detectable easily from further away while weaker scents will not carry so far. Moreover, the direction of the wind, the age and breed of the dog, its health, nasal structure, mental capacity, nutrition and training will all influence ability of the dog to smell.

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