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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Question for everyone... My two year old GSD female, when she first goes out into the yard, and smells game (perhaps a skunk, or raccoon that was in the yard the night before), she does this thing where she snorts and shakes her head... as if she is trying to get the smell out of her nose.

She then searches the yard in typical GSD fashion, hair up, but every 25 seconds or so she does the snort and head shake. Again, the best way to describe it is if you took a big whiff of skunk, and then tried to blow the smell out of your nose!!

Anyone else notice this behavior? She never does it in the house, or anywhere else. It is only when she is in the yard, and usually when she FIRST goes out there and gets some sort of scent.

Thanks! - Summer
 

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My Sting doesn't but I have seen horses do it. I think your dog is just taking in all the smell - deep breathe - that smells so good to her maybe not to us.
 

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If dogs are trying to pinpoint a source and the odor is strong to them they may clear their nose to clear the receptors that have been flooded with odor.

Funny though they don't do that if there are strong odors they are not trying to pinpoint. My cadaver dog can work through all kinds of odors and only start clearning his nose if he gets close to a strong human remains odor.

Typically the response I get to game is head up sniffing then ignoring it. I have seen a more defensive response (hackles) to carnivores (at least Grim, not seen that yet with Beau)
 

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Mine puts her nose to the ground and trots as she is smelling to wherever any number of wildlife might have been. Once she stops I know that is where it was resting..I have seen this with a rabbit. Once there she smells the whole area around that area. I don't think I've ever seen her shake her head, but I might not be paying close enough attention. My oldest(non GSD) has a thing for skunks, I predict she will get sprayed one day...we usually play ring around the house when I know the skunks are there...I look out my back window to see them, then by the time I get to the front its peaking at me from around the corner:rolleyes: I know coyotes are around when all of my dogs stare in one direction, sniffing in the air, I have to distract them or they would do that all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the responses! I knew it was probably normal, but I just wanted to ask just in case....

So this means, either I have a dead cadaver in my backyard, or... ha ha just kidding.

Yes, she typically only does it right after this woodchuck climbs under our fence at night. She goes out in the morning, and then she finds that scent, and pinpoints the scent with her hackles up and doing the snorting head shake thing. Then she finds the hole where it came in, and sniffs there for awhile all intense.

Another time she did it, I gave her a kiss later, and I noticed her entire snout smelled a little like skunk. She was not sprayed, but the skunk smell must have been in the grass, and she breathed so much in that a little got on her nose.

GSDs..... so cute!! lol
 
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