4 Dog Breeds with the Best Sense of Smell and a Nose for Detection

All dogs have a superior sense of smell compared to humans and can oftentimes sniff out scents that would be impossible for us to detect.

However, some in particular are adept at sniffing out scents which makes them perfect in detection fields or as service dogs.  While there are several breeds which are well-known for having a good nose, here is a look at four of the top breeds with a good nose!


This breed has a keen sense of smell and are known to use their noses rather than their ears in hunting scenarios.  While they are great tracking and/or trailing dogs, they do not do well in other types of searches such as narcotics or explosives.

Bloodhounds were used for centuries to help find missing persons.  They were one of the first breeds to be used in trailing suspects.

German ShepherdTop Breeds for Scent Detection Dogs

These dogs are frequently seen working for law enforcement for a good reason; their sense of smell is elite, and they are skilled at tracking, helping officials detect drugs, explosives, etc.  They are also loyal and hardworking dogs, which add to their already exceptional tracking abilities.

Basset Hound

These dogs are known as scent hounds, even though they are not usually seen on a detection team.  They possess a strong desire to track a scent trail and their short legs keep them in close proximity to the ground, helping them to more accurately follow their target.  However, they are harder to obedience train.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are one of the most popular breeds in the US, and their sense of smell has helped them earn the title of great working dogs.  They are often utilized for their ability to detect narcotics and explosives, and for search and rescue missions.

Through Conifer Canine, we offer dog training courses for detection of: drugs, bombs, cadavers, bed bugs, cancer, contraband, etc.

However, if you’re interested in becoming a scent detection dog trainer or a K9 instructor yourself, then look no further than Dog Trainer College. We have a scent detection dog trainer course, K9 instructor course, and more to cater your certification to your specific needs. Give us a call at 812-650-2394 today to learn more!