9 Best Scent Tracking Dog Breeds

The world of dogs is an interesting subject for us humans. Dogs can completely see with their noses. Yup. That’s right. Dogs are able to track down the sources of scents even a mile long. They are born to smell and differently sees their own world around them. All dogs have a strong sense of smell but not all dogs are bred to become exceptionally good at smelling. I have listed down below one of the best scent tracking dog breeds in no particular order.

Dogs with exceptionally good tracking scents have been used since the dawn of man as a companion for hunting and now for military and security reasons. Scent tracking dogs are useful in many ways such as protection and companion.

How Dogs Smell Perceive the World

The dog’s world is different from what the humans perceive. Humans primarily depend on what we see as it is while dogs use both their noses and eyes. But here ways of seeing are vastly different for us. They have a sensitive nose that can interpret smells. It is also because dogs have an average of 100 million olfactory receptors. People relied on visual communication to interpret things while dogs differ.

The brains of dogs are more capable of analyzing the scent that is about 40 times larger than the average human brain possesses. In addition, dogs can smell 10000 times better than humans, way more sensitive than the human nose.

If dogs have been trained focusing on sniffing tasks, they will definitely develop their strong smelling skills and they would be a great asset for a man’s job. Their smelling advantages can save them from dangers and can save lives from search and rescue operations. The best scent tracking dog breeds are naturally hunting dogs (well, most of them according to reasearch).

These are the 9 best scent tracking dog breeds

1. Bloodhound

The bloodhound is well known for its tracking scent. They are usually used in search and rescue because they have the knack to locate an object or a living creature with their nose. this breed of dog is large, have floppy ears Their nostrils are wide open allowing them to smell strong scent even in farther areas.

The olfactory sensors of the bloodhound are 300 million scent receptors making them the exceptionally good tracking scent among dog breeds. While humans have only 5 million receptors but large dog breeds average 200 million. Way more than we can even smell.

Bloodhound actually derived from the term blooded hound referring to their pure breed. The name “blood” in bloodhounds associates with the word of royalty. They are a persistent working dog known for their long stamina and superior in training and hunting down prey.

2. German Sheperd

Descending from a German herding, German Sheperds are usually the “police pet” all over the world and the most popular dog in the United States. German Shepherds are loyal. No wonder they are the military and police favorite. Their ability to detect drugs and bombs and even humans make them one of the best scent tracking dog breeds.

German shepherds are an intelligent and versatile breed. They are good at herding, obeys their master willingly, and also good for personal protection. They will serve their master until the end with their undying loyalty to their own master.

3. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois have a similar look to German Shepherds but they are lighter framed and flexible dog. This breed needs a lot of mental stimulation and it also needs careful supervision because they tend to become aggressive to others if not socialized properly. But when socialized they can be friendly and affectionate to people.

They are also used in military and police departments such as US Secret Service and NAVY SEAL as an alternative to German Sheperd because of their keen nose to detect narcotics and explosives as well.

4. Labrador Retriever

This active dog breed is also a popular breed in America. They are a family-friendly dog and good for children as well. They are so useful when it comes to detecting rodents or rats that hide on the corners of your house. Labs are really fond of catching faster moving objects and they can smell their scent from afar even for a young pup.

With their keen sense of smell, they can sniff hard and able locate their prey and sometimes kill rats or rodents just for you. So, be sure to have an available treat for a labrador if you happen to have one.

5. The Dachshund

Dachshunds are great for hunting badgers, rabbits, ad even foes. They were primarily a hunting dog and design to dig holes for rodents. These dogs are perfect to fit in a hole that would hunt down his target. They are certified to hunt both above and below ground — A remarkable petit dog.

That is why hunters love this small dog breed because of their versatility and agileness, they can even trail a wild boar because of their exceptional smelling power. Aside from that, they are used in-game hunting, sometimes as show dogs and even as a great family companion.

6. Basset Hound

Similar to its small stature like Dachshunds, Basset Hound is a small breed belonging to the hound family. This dog has featured a long floppy ear like the bloodhound. They have a nice built body that is heavier than some other breed. Interestingly enough is that they have the natural ability to hunt down distant targets simply by smelling their scent. Basset Hounds are an ideal companion to the wood if you are out and hunting. Even with their small size, Bassets can endure various types of rough terrains.

7. Black and Tan Coonhound

Coonhounds are probably the greatest dog for hunting raccoons. Hence their name being “Coonhound”. Naturally born to hunt raccoons. They are also known for their endurance, speed, and cunningness in rough terrains.

Furthermore, besides being brutal with their prey especially raccoons, when it come to their master, they are fun and loving, even easy to groom because of their coat.

Nowadays, they are more suitable in outdoor or in open fields in order to develop their ability to track and hunt down small prey. That is why they are a favorite on the farms as they prevent rodents from destroying the crops.

8. Beagle

Beagles are hunters by nature and they are even used in airports for searching any contraband and any illegal materials brought in the airports. Not to be fooled by their built, they are adept at smelling. It is also the reason why they are a perfect companions for sniffing inspections when there are heightened security.

They are medium built, but they can do more even with their petite stature. Beagles are the friendliest dogs on the list and they are family-friendly as well as in children.

9. English Springer Spaniel

This large breed is a good companion when you are on your bird hunting. English Springer Spaniel is a type of bird dog basically bred to catch birds. They are good at obeying command signals usually when the hunter is in hunt mode. At home, they are lovable and fun to have because of their furry looks and loyal attitude.

Interesting facts about Dog’s Nose

Superb Nose Power- Their sense of smell is so acute that it is 10000 more acute than humans. If we are to compare it to a vision, dogs can see 3000 miles away from people.

Built for odors- When dogs inhale their nose functions as both for respiration and olfaction. They are able to detect any odors and track their source once they carry the scent to their noses.

Track Master- Dog’s smelling skills are impressive. They track down anything once they smell the scent. It is the reason why some dog breeds are in the armies and police departments because they can track down narcotics, explosives, and even people who are missing.

Differences in dog’s olfactory capacities and sense of smell

There are actually no definite standard tests to know the full capabilities of a dog’s olfactory capacity. Recently there has a study conducted by researchers about comparing each dog’s olfactory capacity. Furthermore, based on their research finding, they were able to measure dog’s olfactory capacity and identify which breeds of dogs have the best sense of smell. Not surprisingly, the researchers have confirmed that hunting dogs have more strong sense of smell than other breeds. They are able to perform much better in tracking and smelling scents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do dogs have wet noses?

Moisture plays an important part for dogs to smell so strongly. Dogs who have a wet nose and sometimes covered with mucus in their nasal canals, captures more scent particles more efficiently. It natural for them to lick their noses when they get dry. Dog’s nose is more effective when it is damp.

Can dogs smell COVID Virus?

There are ongoing studies with regards to sniffing and detecting humans with COVID-19 infections. The research concludes that dogs have identified 83% of positive cases and 96% of negative. Although it is too early for them to predict whether or not it works, the study looks promising according to one scientist.

Can dogs smell family members?

Yes. If they can smell their owners, they definitely can smell the owner’s family members as well. They know who is worth befriending and who is not. They also provide cues like wiggling their nose showing that they are examining your family member.

Final Thoughts

No wonder these are the best scent tracking dog breed, it is because of their exceptionally keen sense of smell which is more advantageous when it comes to hunting, tracking, search and rescue, and even in narcotics. Not all dogs are bred with the same abilities but what they have in common is that they see things clearly with their nose than their eyes can. Dogs are a great companion and a personal protection to have. Owning a scent tracking dog breed is an excellent choice to have because they are very well rounded dogs.

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