ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dogs Can Smell Time

Updated on April 4, 2018
clynne profile image

Freelance writer trying to defy the Millennial stereotype through hard work. Joy is in the little things.

It can be easy to assume that dogs have a poor sense of time - they are often just as excited to see you after 2 minutes as they are after several hours. However, despite their extremely excitable nature, dogs actually have an acute sense of time that is driven by their sense of smell. After all, my dog knows to wait by my side door every evening between 6 and 7, because she knows that's when I usually get home from work. My fiance tells me she even waits there when I'm out of town, before dejectedly returning to the living room when I don't walk in by 7:30 or so.

As time goes on, the air in a room or house moves. Hot air rises, and usually travels up the walls of a room. Therefore, air travels up the wall, moves to the center of the room, then drops as it cools. As this motion is repeated, the smells that the air carries travel in the same pattern throughout a room. If, like a dog, you can smell these underlying odors, you can get a good sense of the time of day based on how the room smells. Morning smells different from evening. Likewise, a person's smell fades as time passes after they left, so a dog can tell how long you've been gone, or who was in the house while they weren't, and when. Weaker smells are older, stronger smells are newer. This is how tracking dogs find a scent - they follow the smell from its weakest point to its strongest point.

The way a dog perceives smell changes in air currents is similar to the way a summer day smells different than a winter day to a human, just on a much more minute scale. Weather and seasons, of course, then smell even more intensely different to dogs than they do to humans, which is why your dog might get nervous before a thunder storm and not when it starts raining.

So what exactly makes up for the differences between a dog's sense of smell and a human's? To begin with, dogs have "stereo olfaction," meaning their nostrils each interpret smells independently of one another. This helps them pinpoint the source of a smell's origin, and means your dog can tell what time you got out of bed just as well as it can tell what time you walked out the front door. Dogs also have hundreds of millions of more cells that transmit smells to their brains, which can account for the increased acuity of their sense of smell. They also have many more types of smell receptors, meaning they can differentiate between smells that human noses may lump together and interpret as a single odor.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)