Letter | Published:

The Sense of Smell in Dogs

Nature volume 36, page 317 | Download Citation



IT is, I think, of some interest to supplement the very striking and exact experiments of Mr. Romanes on the scent of dogs, by an account of some experiments of a like kind made with a very different kind of dog, viz. a pug bitch. She was taught to hunt for small pieces of dry biscuit in a good-sized dining-room. The dog was put out of the room and a small piece, not much bigger than a shilling, of dry Osborne biscuit, was hidden; and as long as the hiding-place was accessible to the dog she never failed to find it. Sometimes the biscuit would be placed under a heap of a dozen or more newspapers on a dinner waggon, sometimes under a footstool, or sofa-cushion, or fire-shovel, and on two or three occasions in the foot of a boot which had been just taken off, the hiding body being always carefully replaced before the dog was admitted into the room, and without exception the biscuit in a very short time was discovered. It was over and over again proved that the dog did not follow the trail of the person who had hidden the biscuit; often the dog went by a different route, and in some cases one person hid the biscuit and another opened the door.

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