Dogs’ sneezes

Did you ever wonder why dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They usually sneeze more than once. Dogs are a highly olfactory species: perhaps it has something to do with clearing their noses in readiness for whatever exciting thing they think is about to happen. A Pavlovian reflex of the nose. (Whoever knew Pavlovian reflexes also worked on dogs!)

I wonder if wolves do the same thing. It would seem strange if they didn’t. I find it hard to believe sneezing in excitement is something dogs have picked up since we domesticated them, so it stands to reason wolves should too. On the other paw, sneezing in the excitement of the chase would seem a major disadvantage for wolves: it would be bound to lose them the odd caribou or two.

Mysteries like dogs’ sneezes make life worth living.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

One comment

  1. Ever wondered why dogs lick their balls?...
    ...Because they can!
    My dog actually laughs when he gets excited!
    He doesn't sneeze.
    But I suppose if you're a 'Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen' that's nothing to sneeze at!

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