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The Ruff Report: The secret to your dog's amazing sense of smell

Your dog is really a nose above you - and all other living creatures for that matter – when it comes to sense of smell, and researchers have discovered the secret as to why.

A dog has many more nerve cells in its far superior nasal cavity, giving it a heightened sense of smell and an amazing ability to sniff out anything from drugs to cancer, New Scientist magazine reports.

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that a complex network of mucus-covered tubes in a dog's nose pre-sorts smells, making it easier for the brain to identify them. The researchers found that different smell molecules are first picked up by receptors at different locations in a dog's airway network. Until now, research has focused on how receptors pick up different chemicals.

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A book about a rescue dog
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THE HUNT OF HER LIFE, is a nonfiction book about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This beautifully designed deluxe full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 vibrant color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life. While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.

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"We've shown that the sorting out of the different odorants before they even get to the receptors is also important," said Brent Craven, head of the research team.

More reports about dogs and surveys:
Where does you dog's breed rank in popularity?

Is your dog's name on the most popular list?
Is your dog's name on the most unusual list? 
Which pet is most likely to be considered family?
 Is your dog's breed on the hot-dating list?
 The secret to your dog's amazing sense of smell
How much would you sacrifice for your dog
Face it, you really do look like your dog
The trick to helping dogs and cats get along 
Dog has become woman's best friend, too
Who's treated better - your pet or significant other? 
Smokers willing to quit for sake of pets
The top 10 dog parks in America 
10 major cities that are 'purrfect' for cats
The canine is top dog in Britain
Pets are best medicine for sadness and stress

The Ruff Report's dogs and surveys Home page

The researchers presented the results of their study at a recent meeting of the American Physical Society's division of fluid dynamics in San Antonio, Texas.


The Ruff Report is a column that appears on, a blog written by Joseph A. Reppucci, a retired editor from The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts. Mr. Reppucci worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years. He is the author of the book, The Hunt of Her Life, a heartwarming story about his once-in-a-lifetime rescue dog. Find it on and


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Book sets signed by the author available here!

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*The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Holiday discount Book Sets

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