So it’s xmas, I’m at my dads and he sees me feeding my border collie a piece of cheese. My dad is from the Scottish borderlands, his dads were Shepards and sheepdog handlers and he said if a gamekeeper had seen me feeding a dog cheese I would have been physically accosted. He’d seen beaters do just that, because as he says, giving a dog cheese makes it lose its sense of smell and it can’t flush out game. I respect my collie owning elders so before I said ‘Sounds like crap to me’ I looked around and saw a lot of cites about never giving your dog Stilton or other blues because it brings on gi distress in many dogs. And Stilton would have been in many of the sammiches offered to dogs in the 1930s and earlier by weekend visitors to the crofts. My collies have eaten cheese without fear but some farting, but if a Shepherd says something about a sheepdog, it’s likely true. Does cheese paralyze a dogs sense of smell?
Maybe really stinky cheese would temporarily impair a dog’s scenting ability, but otherwise this sounds like an urban canine legend.
I’d second the idea that it might be good if a dog owner’s sense of smell was compromised by feeding the animal cheese, due to the possibility of the dog’s producing truly odiferous gas.
Seems incredibly unlikely. At a minimum you would expect this for milk as well.
Possibly the cheese might jam key molecular detector channels the dog uses to hunt from the odor of the cheese in the dog’s gut. But once the dog finishes digesting it, you would expect for their tracking abilities to be back to 100% if they were even impaired.
Most likely coincidence and confirmation bias if there really any dogs which exhibited a diminished sense of smell. Ir there any proof of cause and effect, it would likely be because of a genetic trait passed on through selective breeding.
My obese beagle will eat ANY cheese you have, with gusto. When we are outside her nose is on the ground. She would run into a buzz-saw if the odor is to her liking. I will experiment with some stinky cheese on a walk tomarrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Disclaimer: she is not a professional hunting beagle, but she was Mothered ( and orphaned) by one of Mr.Wrekkers best hunters. So her instinct is strong.
My WAG is that if a dog is fed cheese then rather than sniff out dead birds only to relinquish them they’ll be hanging out for more cheese. It’s a distraction.
Thanks all, I know when I work my collie I don’t allow him treats because I work a dog for obedience, not hunger. But there seems to be something about stinky blue cheeses that can clog a dogs nose, I’ve seen it happen. If my collies nose was laid out, it’s scent tissue would cover a football field. Maybe sulfur?
Blue cheese, especially Stilton, is known to cause vivid dreams. So it has some kind of effect that is not obvious and that differs from other cheese. It’s mold, ferchrissakes. Mold is like a balm - you never know what it’s going to do. Or maybe the shepherds dreamed that the doggies couldn’t sniff very well.
Mostly I think this works to distract a working dog because it makes most any dog your brand new friend and not inclined to do anything to you except check you out for more cheese. Their sense of smell works fine, especially if you still have cheese on your person.
At least that’s what would happen at my house.
My dog has never flushed game in her life, nor have I asked her too, so I think she can still have the odd bit of cheese I feed her.
I don’t know (and doubt it), but our dog (Springer Spaniel) loves cheese and seems incredibly sensitive to the smell of it - it’s typical for her to come downstairs when I get some out of the fridge when she’s otherwise glued to my gf’s side in her upstairs office in our house.
Our neighbor’s dog loves cheese and still has a strong sense of smell.
I fed my beagle some old cheese of unknown parentage this afternoon. She loved it and begged for more. We went out and she performed her normal casting about looking for interesting smells. She caught one she liked and took off in big circles around me and the Yorkie. Which is her normal routine. I heard her barking ahead and she was digging it what I decided was a rabbit hole. I had trouble convincing her to walk on. I put the leash back on for a bit and released her again and she bee-lined right back to the rabbit hole. I’ll have trouble for a few days getting her by that hole. I guess the rabbit will move out to better digs.
So, the cheese did not affect her nose one little bit. YMMV.
ETA I’m thinking of feeding her something else odorific and testing again. She will eat nearly anything. Any ideas?
We fed our dogs cheese with no effect on their sense of smell or gas production. Our old border collie mix would still herd the other dogs in the field.
I must say we fed them Velveeta, so one could argue it wasn’t really cheese.
I don’t have a dog but my brother does and when you feed blue cheese to Buffy, she has vivid dreams of being naked at obedience school.
Dunno, but when our son opened some particularly fragrant cheese (which was later thrown out) our beagle/heeler mix left the room.
My dog went to obedience school with Buffy & she really *was *naked.
I remember that. It was quite the scandal.