EmilyS sent in this great dog video from the dog park of a bunch of dogs hanging around an old timer trying to do his business. Once the old timer finishes up, the other pooches go in for a sniff. That got The Doggie Dish to thinking about how dogs greet with their noses and humans greet with their hands. Psychology Today had this to say about it:
It's said that dogs sniff each other as a kind of canine equivalent to the human handshake; an otherwise meaningless "greeting ceremony"(1) which reportedly started in medieval times as a way of checking the other guy for weapons. Our canine companions are said to do this for similar reasons; it signifies that both animals are willing to start out on friendly terms.
But is it really just a social gesture? Does it have an adaptive purpose? Will knowing the true reason for this behavior tell us anything useful about the dog's way of seeing the world? And perhaps more importantly, will it tell us anything about ourselves?
We know that at least 33% of a dog's brain is devoted to processing olfactory information whle in humans that figure is closer to about 5%.
Marc Bekoff wrote here recently in "Yellow Snow Can Tells Us About What a Dog's Nose Knows." that "[a dog's nose] can distinguish T-shirts worn by identical twins, follow odor trails, and are 10,000 times more sensitive than humans to certain odors."
Dog Paddlin Goldendoodle