Monday, March 14, 2011

The Amazing Dog and Odor Layering

If you're an experienced bird dog man or woman, you probably already know what odor layering is. But if you don't I will explain it now.

When we make a pot of vegetable beef soup, we add the individual ingredients all together in a pot and simmer it up until it smells like "soup". You may sell the bay leaf, or the beef,  but in general, you smell the odor of the combined ingredients. If your dog is in the house he's smelling that same pot of soup, only he can smell the individual ingredients. The carrots, the potatoes, the meat, the spices, all individually. This is odor layering.

Odor sort of hoovers like fine baby powder then settles to the ground. Many things can interfere with a dogs ability to find  odor. Ultraviolet rays and wind can break down an odor.

So doesn't it seem almost impossible for a dog to pick up on an odor that is days, or weeks old? Does to me, but they do.  And some blood Hounds have actually been known to track the odor of a human down the road and down the interstate for miles and miles. I saw a test they did on "Dog Genius" on Nat Geo Wild, myself. It's hard to believe but true.

Amazing Dogs with amazing noses!


  1. That's pretty amazing. My hubby volunteered with a Search and Rescue team for many years and there were dogs trained for all types of scenting (air scent, ground scent, cadaver, etc.) Just amazing noses...

  2. The ability of dogs to detect scent always leaves me wondering how they do it. After a snow storm a few weeks ago I was walking my setter down the street when she stopped climbed up the roadbank and shoved her nose through the snow right into a mouse tunnel. It was good and cold and the wind was blowing but she scented those mice from a good 8 feet away like it was right in the open. When it comes to the nose, its hard to fool the dog.

  3. Interesting post.
    That's one cute puppy!

  4. Hi Karen,
    It's something that for once I was aware of, but it's still amazing.

  5. Great post. Yes dogs ability to scent is quite remarkable. I have come to appreciate it all the more while I am now hunter and retriever.

  6. I love teaching my dogs to use their noses for me and am continually amazed at what they can find.