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The nose dominates the face and has more importance than either eyes or ears in a dog's interpretation of his world. The more droplets of moisture on a dog's nose, seen here, the better smeller he can be. The best noses can drip like a runny nose on a child. Dogs interpret primarily with their nose. They see shapes and can react with fear or anxiety until they are able to smell the shape.

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Field Notes: The Nose Rules

The other day I watched my canine companion, Zina, put her nose to the breeze and then bury it deep in the grass near the pasture fence. Her excitement reminded me of the days when my German Shepherds were able to roam freely in the fields before the housing development set in. Their nose-down, tail up odyssey fulfilled every scent-driven need in their bodies.


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