How good is a labrador retriever’s sense of smell?
Labrador Retrievers are well known for our incredible sense of smell, even compared to other dog breeds. Our breed was recognized as a good hunting dog in England, and many Labrador Retriever breeders began to highlight hunting-related traits during breeding. As a result, today’s Labrador Retrievers have an excellent sense of smell. Labradors are also known to be wonderful retrievers, which is another highly prized trait for use as a hunting dog.
Labrador Retrievers are frequently used for many important jobs in society. Some Labradors are used by law enforcement, especially for jobs that require a sensitive sense of smell. Labrador Retrievers are excellent detector dogs, being able to identify police substances such as explosives, illegal substances and human odor. We can also identify a specific human scent and track it, like a bloodhound. We can help in missing persons cases, as our olfactory abilities help us distinguish the human scent from other scents.
In addition to being used by the police, Labradors are also widely used as search and rescue dogs. This is another job that requires our sense of smell, as we can direct rescuers to rescue people who may not have been obvious to the human senses. We’ve even been known to spot trapped avalanche victims found under 18+ feet of snow! Due to our superior sense of smell, the Labradors were used by many rescue workers after the Twin Towers collapsed in New York City. We were able to help save many people trapped under the rubble, and now there are many dedicated organizations supporting the Labrador Search and Rescue. Since we can detect human scent so efficiently, many Labrador Retrievers are also used to rescue hurricane victims.