Dogs Can Tell Time With Their Nose

October 13, 2016

Dogs can detect cancer and tell time with their nose.

As if we didn’t need another reason to confirm dogs are the coolest creatures on earth, we now learn that dogs can detect cancer and tell time with their nose.

Alexandra Horowitz, canine cognition expert, explains the power and complexity of dogs’ olfactory senses in her new book, Being a Dog.

Dogs obviously have a much stronger sense of smell than us humans - this is why our canine companions are used to sniff out drugs and explosives, among other things. But did you know many dogs can detect melanoma (skin cancer) cells on their owner?

As Horowitz confirmed in an NPR interview, “there's been a budding research program in training dogs to detect various cancers on the breath, in urine, in blood and on the skin. Most of these programs report very high levels of success.”

Why is the canine sense of smell so much more powerful than ours? Biology.

Dogs “possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us,” Peter Tyson from PBS explains, “and the part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.”

Dogs can also tell time with their noses. Yes, you read that correctly.

Not only can dogs differentiated between a new and old odor, dogs actually analyze the scent of the air to determine what time of day it is.

“If we were able to visualize the movement of air through the day,” says Horowitz, “what we're really visualizing is the movement of odor through the day.” Dogs detect the movement of odor throughout the day and simultaneously determine time. This also explains why dogs sometimes reach strangely when a storm is approaching. Unlike us humans, they see the storm coming from a mile away.

NPR published the original interview with author Alexandra Horowitz in October 2016





Leave a comment


Also in DJANGO Dog Blog

DJANGO Dog Blog - Best french bulldog gifts for frenchie lovers
The Ultimate French Bulldog Lovers Gift Guide

November 15, 2019

Looking for the perfect gift for a french bulldog lover in your life? We've compiled our favorite frenchie-themed goods for every member of the family.

View full article →

The Farmer's Dog Food Review - djangobrand.com
The Farmer's Dog Food Review | Our Experience with the Fresh Dog Food Subscription Service

November 01, 2019

Mike and I have tried almost every fresh dog food subscription service out there, and The Farmer's Dog is a clear favorite of ours. This article is an honest review and comprehensive overview of The Farmer's Dog. All opinions are our own and based on our own experience feeding The Farmer's Dog meals to our dachshund Django.

View full article →

The Best Winter Coats For Dachshunds and Hard-To-Fit Adventure Dogs
The Best Winter Coats For Dachshunds and Other Hard-To-Fit Adventure Dogs

October 17, 2019

After living in NYC for many years, Mike and I (Steph) moved to Oregon in mid 2016 with our dog Django. October rolled around, and Mike and I began to understand why Portlanders call rain the "Portland mist". It seemed to drizzle and rain continuously. Unfortunately, this meant that by the end of every hike, Django would be cold and soaked with a mud-caked underbelly. 

Our rainy adventures in the Pacific Northwest inspired us to design two performance dog coats built to withstand cold, rain, mud, and snow: DJANGO's Reversible Puffer Dog Coat and City Slicker All Season Dog Jacket.

View full article →