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What Smells Capture Your Dog’s Attention the Most?

My dog loves the smell of Starbucks, of all things. What smells do your dogs prefer?

 |  Aug 22nd 2013  |   9 Contributions


I think we can all agree that our dogs love to sniff just about everything. It’s their main method of identifying what’s around them at the time and who may have passed through the area earlier. They sniff each other as a social greeting and to check to see if the other dog is acceptable to them. They either have their noses planted as close as possible to the ground or reaching as high as possible in the air in order to get a whiff of the latest smells. Yes, they love to sniff and smell everything. But, are there certain smells that capture your dog’s attention the most?

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It's a rare dog who can resist the smell of grilled meats. Dog at lakeshore by Shutterstock

For one of my dogs, Dusty, the smell of Starbucks gets her going. It’s not just any Starbucks concoction. It has to be Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccino, my wife’s drink of choice. I know Dusty enjoys the strong, wonderful aromas that permeate from the drive-thru window at our local Starbucks. But, I believe it’s also the social interaction that she has with the baristas that make the daily visit twice as nice. As soon as we pull up to the drive-thru speaker, the intense sniffing begins. She will sit up as high as possible in her doggy car seat, point her nose in the direction of the drive-thru window and follow the smells from the window into the car. It’s not that she gets to partake in the drinks. It’s just the smells and joy of being there that makes her extremely happy.

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"I love Starbucks!" says my dog Dusty.

Unfortunately, my Dusty girl is also quite the aficionado of sniffing every pile of doggy poo that she encounters. I know all dogs love to take a quick sniff of any poo that’s been left by another dog, cat or any other critter that’s visited the area. However, as with my other dog, Kramer, it’s usually a quick sniff and then he moves on to see what else is worth smelling. For Dusty, it’s a whole different ball game. When we’re out walking or at the local park she runs like the wind. She will continue to run with her nose in the air until she gets a whiff of poo. At that point, she immediately slams on her puppy paw brakes and begins her search for the poo. Once she finds it, there is no getting her to move forward. She will sniff every inch until I walk over to the area, pick her up and point her in the other direction. She never consumes or touches the poo in any way. She just gets fixated on the smell and trying to figure out what type of dog it came from.

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"Hmmmm. I wonder whose poop this is?"

My boy Kramer really doesn’t let any outdoor smells capture his attention. He tends to focus more on any movement or talking going on outside from other people. Smelling the great outdoors is fine, but he would rather visually check out everything around him. The only thing that will catch his super sniffer is the smell of food cooking. If there is food on anyone’s grill, he is in heightened mode. He perks his nose as high as possible in the air to smell the hearty aroma of chicken or steaks being cooked on the grill.

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Cooking baked trout -- the dogs are eagerly waiting for me to drop some!

Each evening, I prepare a little special boiled meat to use as a supplement to my dogs’ diet. I’ll also include some fresh raw vegetables as a topper for their food. Often I will give each of them a piece of romaine lettuce leaf or a piece of bell pepper to keep them occupied while I cook their meat at the stove. Dusty will grab the veggies, run to a favorite spot and consume each bit of them. Kramer will run over to the veggies, take one whiff and look at me as if to say, where’s the beef?

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"Are you edible?" Dog sniffs caterpillar by Shutterstock

Sometimes he will slowly consume the veggies. The look on Kramer’s face is more like the look of a child who is being forced to eat their brussel sprouts. Often, he will leave them behind for Dusty to eat. He will then come back to manning his post about two feet from the stovetop, waiting for me to finish cooking the meat. His nose is in constant motion, breathing in and out in order to take in the wonderful smells floating through the air.

Dogs are just like us. They love certain smells more than others. Like us, some smells remind them of home while others help them to rest and relax and take their minds to a happy place. I also love the smell of fresh coffee, chocolate and meat being cooked on the grill. So, I’m a lot like my dogs, Dusty and Kramer. Minus the poo, that is!

What smells do your dogs love? Are there certain smells that are nasty to you that they enjoy? Share your stories and pictures in the comments!

Check out these other great articles on Dogster: 

About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir, prefers to associate with open minded people who love all critters, considered to be the literal voice for all animals – Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.

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