What Does A Dog Smell With His Head Out a Car Window?

Snapdragons at Farmer's Market by colemama on Flickr.comOn the way to the dog park this morning, we saw a yellow lab mix with his head sticking out the sunroof of a car.

At the same time, Honey had her head out the window and was sniffing fast and furious.

What is it like to be a dog with millions of scent molecules landing on her oh-so-sensitive nose?

I think it must be like a person visiting a farmer’s market when the stalls are full of beautiful fresh produce. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of freshly picked food at my local market.

If I’m right, and Honey’s nose drinks in smells the way my eyes drink in sights, she’s a lucky dog who lives in a world of constant abundance.

[Photo from Flickr.]

Do you ever wonder what your dog is smelling when he’s harvesting the air for scent?

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  1. I wouldn’t mind having a dog sense of smell if I didn’t have to have a human sense of disgust. My dogs are enthralled by the most disgusting smells I could imagine and are totally turned away from roses and carnations.

    • Yes, I’ve found flowery and fruity scents really bother dogs. I wonder what all the stinky things that dogs enjoy smell like?

  2. I wonder all the time! Bunny’s nose can turn at a ninety degree angle, and I have the pictures to prove it. Her nose seems to be in overdrive, especially on windy days!

    • When we’ve done Nosework, we found the air currents made a big difference. When the furnace blower came on, Honey’s nose would pull her strongly in the new direction.

      When it comes to noses, I think dogs are in an entirely different universe.

      Just curious, does being a sighthound have any effect on a greyhounds sense of smell when compared to other dogs?

  3. My dog cries when the window is rolled up. I think she’s just enjoying the whole experience- all of her senses, not just scent.

  4. I love going out in the morning and smelling what kinds of animals have recently been in the area.

  5. Did you ever see Up? SQUIRREL!

    Only scent that matters.

  6. Oh, Kol’s nose will one day be his undoing. That boy has been raising hos nose and searching the breeze for scents since he was only 8 weeks old. If he catches a scent, it’s all over…there he goes!

  7. When I came home from a week away at a writer’s retreat, Kelly couldn’t stop sniffing me all over. What surprised me was her intensity, and she even smelled my hair. I wondered what kind of information she gathered about where I’d been.

  8. I always wonder what Jersey & Dexter are sniffing for. I’m voting for bacon 😀

  9. Having a dogs nose can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great having a sense that is so attuned you can almost “see” with it, but it’s not nice when you’re living with a chubby dog like my big sister Jess, she is slowly destroying the ozone layer!
    Love your blog


  10. Food, always food. Shiva’s brain is directly connected to her stomach. If it has a scent, Shiva will eat it. 😛

    I do wonder what it would be like, however. Humans focus so much on our sight. Would it be distracting if we could smell as well as dogs, or would it be helpful?

  11. What a wonderful way to compare the two! I have always wondered if their brain just goes into overdrive smelling all the scents that are going by so fast!!

  12. Of my three, Meadow has an exceptional nose. It’s just amazing. She often walks along sniffing and then stops dead in her tracks, starts digging right below her, only to uncover some grub or some other “tasty” critter to eat. I think that is how she fed herself in the wild. :-)

  13. I’ve always wondered this too. We can’t let Bella hang her head out the window (lesson learned after a particularly unsuccessful trip to PetSmart – cleaning out a window well is not easy, although cleaning the side of the car isn’t so bad… I hope no one was behind us at the time). However, she parks herself within easy smelling distance of an A/C vent and gets her fix that way.

  14. I think I must have the only dog in the world that doesn’t want to stick her head out the window . .she just lays on the back seat, head down, front legs stretched out! She makes up for it on walks . .nose to the ground!!

  15. i love when they get too many smells in there and they do that half-sneeze thing to clear it out so they can start over. cracks me up every time.