Slobbery kisses, wet noses, wagging tails - all the things that make dogs so special. But why wet noses? Does it help them somehow? Read on. These questions are answered and more!
It may not seem that important, but having a wet nose has to do with smell. Yes, you heard that right, smell. Having a wet nose helps your dog absorb scent chemicals better. Dogs already have a sense of smell over 100 thousand times better than that of humans.
Dogs are adept at smelling feelings. Feelings, they can smell feelings, really? Yes, when humans are afraid they sweat and that in turn gives off an odor that dogs pick up on immediately. Notice that when you are stressed, worried or feeling general anxiety about something, your dog picks up on it before anyone else.
Dogs have been trained to scent track meaning they are introduced to scents then they are taught how to find the scent. Dogs have a history of tracking people, sniffing out drugs, smelling disease such as cancer, explosives and even cadavers. Everything has a unique scent and dogs with their expert sense of smell have little trouble picking out these scents.
From the very start of their lives dogs are dependent upon their sense of smell. At birth their eyes and ears are shut. They open fairly quickly but in the mean time dogs use and develop their sense of smell to find their mother’s milk, eventually locate their food, and find where they are to use the bathroom. They even learn your scent.
Several breeds are notorious for their scent abilities. First and foremost is the Bloodhound. Bloodhounds make excellent hunting dogs.
Basset Hounds are next in line. Their short stature and large ears help them in many ways by dusting up the scents and catching them in folds of skin under the chin, keeping them close to their noses.
Beagles are number three on the list and are often found working at airports. Don’t let their cuddly appearance fool you they are hard at work sniffing out illegally imported foods and other items.
German Shepherds are next on the list and use air scent tracking instead of ground scent tracking. They work in airports sniffing out drugs and explosives as well as with the military. They are adept at finding people lost on trails or hiding in buildings, etc.
The Labrador Retriever makes the list at number 5, right in the middle of the pack. Labs are cuddly, goofy balls of fur, but they can learn to detect various cancers and are very helpful to the medical community.
At number six, the Belgian Malinois sniffs out bombs, drugs, even bed bugs, while some are adept at finding prostate cancer.
The Golden Retriever is a high-energy breed used for tracking and finding missing people and more recently has found its spot in the medical community by learning to detect peanuts in foods for children with severe allergies. They have also been trained to alert diabetics to high or low blood sugars often at night when they are sleeping. Now that is talent!
Coming in at number 10 is the Dachshund! Very popular in the United States these little guys are excellent hunters and were used to track badgers both above and below ground.
So the next time your dog pokes you with his or her wet nose, understand that a wet nose is more than just a wet nose!