Did you know that the frequent sniffing your little pooch does every time it’s out is highly critical to him? It can significantly lower his stress levels and help him familiarise himself with what’s going on around them.
Research indicates that dogs rely primarily on their smelling ability to complete life-saving and most essential tasks. Dog’s smelling sense is way higher than that of humans. They have more than 220 million olfactory receptors, while humans only have 5 million.
Typically, all dogs have a great sense of smell, but some breeds may have better senses than others. Most dog owners usually wonder if the dogs they selected have a better sense of smell, especially those with hunting and racing dogs.
Do whippets have a good sense of smell? Yes, but since they’re sighthounds, they rely primarily on their vision, which is why they’re called sighthounds.
Although their sense of smell is not the best, they can effectively pick up scents like most other dogs.
Please read on to find out more about the whippet’s smelling ability, the importance of a dog’s nose, how powerful it is, and other essential information about dogs’ noses.
A Whippets Sense Of Smell Is Powerful
Usually, dogs use their scent ability to hunt and complete most tasks, but this is different for sighthounds. Their smell sense isn’t as developed as that of other dogs due to few turbinals because of their slender snouts.
Initially, whippets were reared to pursue prey for entertainment, and their lightweight frame, solid and slim bodies didn’t fail them. Once their target is on sight, they’ll pursue and surpass them with their high speed.
Whippets’ excellent vision helps spot prey quickly, even those moving at high speeds, for example, deer. They have deep chests to support their big heart and lungs comfortably.
However, there isn’t science-supported evidence confirming that they have better eyesight acuity compared to other dog breeds. But, some studies indicate that the visual streak of dogs with longer heads (dolichocephaly) is higher because they have many retinal ganglion cells that help improve their sensitivity to objects and fast movements.
All these theories don’t imply that whippets cant smell at all; they can, only that it’s not what they do best, but at least it isn’t as little as that of humans.
How Powerful Is A Dogs Nose?
A dog’s nose is its primary sense. Unlike humans, dogs depend mostly on their noses to comprehend the environment, communicate, discover things, and even read our emotions. But how so? Dogs smell is about 10,000-100,000 more than that of humans.
On average, pooches have 220-300+million olfactory receptors, which are responsible for smelling. Humans have about 5-6 million receptors. Try to imagine this difference? That’s how better a dog’s smell is, and we humans are useless in comparison.
Besides more smelling receptors, the dogs’ brain part responsible for analyzing and processing scents forty times better than ours. They can pick up any smell, however faint it is, and trace its origin without hassling.
Our canine buddies can even detect explosives, cancer cells, drugs and track anything with scent by using their noses and brain.
Besides smelling sense, dogs also have excellent visions than humans. An average dog can spot things that are 3000 miles away, even more for sighthounds.
Why Dogs Sniff A Lot
All dogs love sniffing, especially when outdoors. Just because whippets mostly use their eyesight doesn’t mean they don’t use their noses too. There are many reasons dogs sniff things other than looking prey, and for tasks, whippets will need their nose; after all, they are dogs too.
Dogs sniff for the fun of it. Most people love enjoying the environment and what it offers. We go lie on the beach, feel the sand, the breeze, the fresh air, and the picturesque view. How you feel when doing all these things can resemble how dogs feel when sniffing.
Sniffing helps dogs learn about their current environment, its entities, mood, and safety.
Why Whippets Use Their Sense Of Smell
Do whippets have a good sense of smell? Whippets only use their sight and speed abilities to pursue prey. Like other dogs, your whippet will need its nose to do other stuff.
Dogs smell different things for different reasons, for example, other dogs, people, trees and vegetation, and more.
Why Does Your Whippet Sniff People?
Dogs love sniffing and kissing their owners or people they know charmingly and lovingly. Sometimes when you bring a stranger home, it’s hard for your little canine friend to resist sniffing them.
Have you ever wondered why they keep doing that? With sniffing, dogs gather any information about you, for example, your emotions, whether you’re a stranger or not, and your health status.
Dogs can detect if someone is pregnant, sad, has cancer, bad or good mood, or even sniff out danger.
Why Does Your Whippet Sniff Other Dogs?
Occasionally, you’ll see your whippet thrilled with its nose all over another dog’s anogenital area. To you, it might seem annoying and embarrassing, but to dogs, that’s their simple way of greeting each other.
Your male whippet can also seem attracted to female dogs on heat after sniffing their scent. This can be a challenging moment for you since he’ll always trace that female until its heat season ends. Male dogs can sniff the female scent dogs produce from afar.
If you find your dog’s sniffing is getting out of hand, you should help immediately. Or you distract him with other valuable and fun activities. If he’s over-shy around other dogs, professional training can help him familiarise himself with dog introductions.
Why Does Your Whippet Sniff Vegetation And Everything Else
All dogs tend to sniff trees and almost everything, particularly during walks and outdoor exercises. They only do this to know more about what their current environment has to offer. When you’re out with your dog, it gets to experience more than one scent, like when at home.
Some of the significant scents that are more likely to attract him are food and other dogs’ scents, and if he smells them, he’s more likely to track them. Whippets have higher prey drive; therefore, you can expect them to go after any scent associated with prey or food.
This is why it’s crucial to walk your dog when he’s on-leash. When dogs pee, they leave behind their scent in their waste. If your dog catches this scent, it can help him know the other dog’s gender, reproductive status, and other general information.
Any form of smell can pick your dog’s attention, whether good or bad. Therefore, your dog can sniff rotten things, dropped food, wastes, and more.
How Sniffing Can Benefit Your Whippet
Statistically, an average dog sniffs about 33% of its time outdoors. As much as irritating and embarrassing you might find your whippet’s sniffing, it’s advisable to allow him to sniff frequently and responsibly.
As a dog owner, you should understand that sniffing tires dogs just like exercises do. They don’t just need their noses, but a bigger part of their brains too. Allowing him to sniff helps him more than just having fun.
The Benefits Of Your Whippet Sniffing A Lot
- Improves their awareness of the current environment.
- Improves their safety. Dogs can sniff off danger and avoid it before it occurs.
- Helps them in mating
- Helps them to communicate
- Dogs can easily understand their owners’ moods
- Eases hunting.
- Helps to keep their emotion in check.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is On A Scent Trail
Going out with your dog when he’s off-leash can be tricky, especially whippets which get easily distracted. There are cases where people lost their dogs because they couldn’t keep an eye on them during walks and runs.
If your little friend gets distracted by a scent and decides to follow it without you knowing, it can be hard to trace it. If the dog doesn’t remember his way back, you can end losing him forever unless he has a tag or GPS tracker.
So, how can you be nose aware’ when walking your dog? Below are some excellent tips to improving dog’s nose smelling awareness;
- Use a harness and training lead when heading out with your dog
- Allow him to sniff new areas to familiarise himself with the area well.
- Understand that scents change everyday ad it’s okay for your whippet to want to sniff the same spot frequently
- Mark your dog’s favourite sniffing spots.
- Don’t force your dog to leave a sniffing spot; ask them in a friendly and polite way. This will create rapport and respect, so he’ll listen quickly next time you ask him.
- Take him to scent walks occasionally. You’ll learn more about him and why scent walks are crucial.
Knowing whether do whippets have a good sense of smell or not is a major dilemma for most dog owners. Whippets don’t have the best smell sense in the dog’s kingdom, but they still can smell. As hunting dogs, most individuals expect this dog breed to excel in the sense of smell, but they don’t.
Whippets use their excellent vision and speed to hunt, but they smell to learn about their environment, things, and people around them.
Dogs’ noses are magical; they can pick up almost any scent, detect people’s mood and health, help dogs find mates and other pet friends. If you want your dog to be excellent with scents, there’s a way you can train him.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!