in Musings

Making sense of a dog and scents

Speaking of brain activity and addictions, my morning walks with my dog never cease to fascinate me. My Labrador, Rocket, goes berserk when he catches a whiff of something on the ground along the way. These smells are like crack to my dog. He is totally focused on inhaling these smells, and if you know Labradors you know that focusing is typically not their strong suit!

I would love to know what goes on in his doggy brain while he’s lost in this scent-induced rapture. What are those scents telling him? What parts of his brain are active? How do dogs really use these scents, and is there much more to this than simply marking territory?

All I can find online about doggy brain activity is an episode of NOVA that looks good, an interesting post about how dog’s dream, and a hilarious YouTube video of Bizkit, the sleepwalking dog, running into a wall. I would hope there would be more research on this. Anyone have anything else?