10 Dog Breeds With the Best Sense of Smell

dogs with the best sense of smell

Dogs have an amazing ability to smell things way better than humans. While we mostly use our eyes to figure out the world, dogs use their noses too. Their sense of smell is their superpower. It helps them understand everything around them, like where food is, if there’s danger, or even to find friends.

Dogs have over 300 million smell sensors in their noses; we only have six million. This means they can pick up on smells we can’t even imagine. People have trained dogs to use this super sniffing skill in many ways, like finding things that are hard to see or smelling things for us.

Now, let’s check out ten dogs that are the champions of smelling. They’ve got this incredible talent that makes them stand out!

Dogs With the Best Sense of Smell

Meet the sniffing champions – dogs with a sense of smell so powerful that it unlocks secrets of the world invisible to human eyes!

1. Bloodhound

dog with the best sense of smell

The bloodhound is a big dog famous for its super strong sense of smell. They were first used to hunt animals and track people. Their smell power is top-notch, helping them follow trails far and long.

Their long ears and wrinkly skin help catch more smells, making their nose about 1,000 times sharper than ours. Police use them to find missing people or catch bad guys, and their sniffing skills are so trusted they can even be used in court.

2. Basset Hound

what dog has the best sense of smell

The Basset Hound is a short, long, floppy-eared dog that is great at smelling. They were made to hunt rabbits because they’re so good at picking up scents. They’re almost as good as Bloodhounds at smelling.

Their ears help bring smells to their nose, and their facial wrinkles keep the scent close so they can follow it easily. Basset Hounds can stick to a scent trail better than most dogs and keep going for a long time. They’re also really friendly and make great family pets.

 3. Coonhounds

what dog breed has the best sense of smell

Coonhounds are dogs with amazing noses. There are different kinds, like the Black and Tan coonhound, Bluetick, Treeing Walker coonhound, and others, each with their own way of tracking smells. Some are great at following fresh trails, while others can pick up old trails easily.

They’re really good at hunting, especially raccoons because they can smell their way across all sorts of places. Coonhounds are super determined, too. Once they start following a scent, they won’t stop, going over hills and through woods to catch what they’re after.

4. Plott Hound

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The Plott Hound is a unique American dog with no ties to the English Foxhound. Originally bred for hunting big animals like boars and bears, these dogs are strong, fast, and have lots of stamina. They stand out with their shiny, brindled fur coats.

Plott Hounds are brave and often used in search and rescue because they have an excellent sense of smell. They love to follow scents, which means they can get distracted during walks and are great at finding hidden snacks at home. Always best to keep them on a leash outside!

5. English Foxhound

dog with best sense of smell

The English Foxhound is a dog breed that loves to track foxes using their keen sense of smell. They are related to the American Foxhound and are known for being very friendly and social. They enjoy running across big open spaces, following scents. These dogs are great at finding their way, even in tough places or bad weather.

They like to be with other dogs because they were bred to work together in groups. English Foxhounds have lots of energy and are usually happier when they’re active or with other dogs. They’re best for hunting but can also fit well with active families who have lots of space for them to run around.

6. German Shorthaired Pointer

what dogs have the best sense of smell

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a medium-sized dog that loves to run and has lots of energy. They are from Germany and are really good at finding things by smell, especially birds. They’ll sniff out a scent and then point to where it’s coming from.

GSPs are smart, friendly, and love to play. They enjoy swimming and need plenty of exercise every day. They are great with families and are nice dogs that like to make their owners happy.

7. Labrador Retriever

dogs with good sense of smell

Labradors are super popular dogs known for their amazing sense of smell. They’re often used to help with hunting, finding hidden things like explosives or drugs, and can even detect health issues in people.

Originally bred to help hunters by fetching ducks, they’re excellent at smelling and can even track scents in water, which is pretty tough. Labradors have powerful noses that can find things buried deep, like people trapped under snow, and can smell things even some machines can’t. Plus, they’re great swimmers and friendly companions.

8. Belgian Malinois

dogs with best sense of smell

The Belgian Malinois is a smart, medium-sized herding dog from Belgium. They have an amazing sense of smell and are super trainable, making them perfect for police and military work. Their smart brains and great noses are great for finding and tracking things.

They’re also full of energy and love to stay active. Belgian Malinois have a long history of being both protectors and friendly pets. They’re known for their strong connections with people and their top-notch smelling abilities, which make them excellent working dogs.

9. German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are super-smart dogs known for their exceptional sense of smell. They have one of the best noses around, with millions of scent receptors. They’re awesome at finding things, making them great as search and rescue dogs where they can pick up old or faint smells.

They’re also used by the police to sniff out explosives and drugs. Plus, they can be trained as service dogs, helping to detect health issues like diabetes and cancer. They’re truly all-around amazing sniffers!

10. English Springer Spaniel

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The English Springer Spaniel is a friendly dog that’s really good at finding and bringing back birds for hunters. They were first used to make birds fly out of hiding and then pick them up after they were shot. They have an amazing sense of smell, which lets them do more than just hunt.

They’re trained to sniff out things like drugs and bombs at airports, and some can even detect diseases like cancer. They can also find a variety of things, from hidden money to bee hives. English Springers are super friendly and great with families and kids, making them fun pets who love to play.

Scent Training Your Dog

1. Prepare a Scent Item: Use just one item for the scent.

2. Introduce the Scent: Show your dog the scent tin. Reward them with a treat when they sniff it.

3. Teach Finding the Scent: Use a command like “search” or “find.” Reward your dog when they find the scent.

4. Increase Difficulty: Hide multiple boxes, but only one should have the scent. Keep rewarding your dog for finding the right one.

Need more help for training your dog? Consider professional courses like DIYK9 Training Course or SpiritDog Training to find customized courses catered to your specific needs.


Dog breeds with the best sense of smell, including hunting dogs like the golden retriever and various hunting breeds, showcase remarkable olfactory abilities. These dogs, often characterized by long ears that help trap scents, excel in tracking and retrieving.

Whether used as a dedicated hunting dog or as a family pet, these breeds leverage their sharp sense of smell to perform tasks and connect with their environment. Their natural instincts and training make them invaluable companions for hunting and beyond.

Mahvash Kazmi
Mahvash Kazmi, with a rich academic background in English Literature and Journalism, is not just a master of words but also a passionate advocate for the voiceless. Her vast experience, from teaching to insightful content creation, is underpinned by a profound love for animals and an unwavering commitment to conservation. An ardent animal lover, she often finds solace in nature's tales and the gentle purrs of her beloved Persian cat, Gracie. Her dedication to the environment and the written word combine to create truly compelling writing. With a heart that beats for the wild and the written word, she crafts compelling stories on animal issues, urging readers to coalesce for a cause.

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