Cali*s Dog Experiment

Cali Kavanaugh
Is a dog’s sense of sight, smell, or hearing the
strongest when attracted to food?
Dogs can hear up to 4
times better than
people can.
Dogs have great night
Dogs can detect
motion better than
people can.
A dog’s sense of smell
is up to 100,000 times
more powerful than a
Dogs can see colors,
including blues,
greens, gray and
A dog’s strongest
sense is smell.
1. Mark off a starting box and a target box.
2.To test a dog’s sense of smell, the dog will search for the roast beef using only the sense of
3. When the timer says “go”, the handler will release the dog and the timer will determine how
long it takes for the blindfolded dog to find the roast beef. Record your results in the data table.
4. In the second test, the roast beef will be placed inside a clear to ensure the dog cannot use
his sense of smell to find it, because we are testing his sense of sight. Record your results for
test two.
5. Test three will evaluate the dog’s ability to find the roast beef using his sense of hearing.
The dog will not have visual or olfactory cues since the roast beef is in the plastic bag and
the dog is blindfolded. Time the dog’s ability to find and move into the box. Record your
results for test three.
6. Finally, repeat the test without limiting the dog’s senses in any way. The handler will start
the dog in the starting box, and the timer will place the roast beef in the target box and time the
dog’s ability to find the roast beef using all of his senses.
10. Now repeat steps one through nine two more times to make sure your results are accurate.
11. Record the final results for each test. Find the average time for each test.
Tape measure
Stop watch
Roast beef
Duct tape
Plastic bag
Blind fold
- I used the same dog for each test.
- I used the same food for each test.
- The distance between the
handler and the target was
always exactly 18 feet.
- I tested each sense 3 times for
- I was careful to test only one sense
at a time.
- The location of the roast beef
changed to avoid the dog
memorizing the course.
- I changed the senses the dog
could use to find the roast
beef by eliminating his
sense of smell using baggies,
his sense of sight using a
blindfold, and his sense of
hearing by not calling him or
telling him to start.
Sugar Bear found the roast beef most quickly when he was using all of his
When the dog did not have visual contact, he ran into things, including
My dog took the most time to find the roast beef using only his hearing.
Sugar Bear would look for the big bag of roast beef that I was using instead
of the target if I didn’t seal the bag and hide it from him.
He seemed most confused when he was unable to use his vision.
Test Type
Trial One
Trial Two
Trial Three
Smell Only
14.0 sec
9.9 sec
9.7 sec
11.2 sec
Sight Only
4.8 sec
4.6 sec
5.4 sec
4.93 sec
Hearing Only
29.6 sec
11.8 sec
125 sec
55.46 sec
All Senses
4.0 sec
4.5 sec
3.0 sec
3.83 sec
The experiment successfully tested my hypothesis because I was able to
test the dog’s ability to find food using only one sense at a time. Although
my hypothesis was not accurate, I was able to determine which sense was
strongest in this test, which was sight.
My hypothesis was incorrect. I anticipated that a dog’s sense of smell
would be strongest, but based on my experiment, it seems that a dog’s
sense of sight is most important to them for finding food. I would change
my experiment by adding tests with more dogs to see if my results were
accurate for all dogs, or if different breeds of dogs had stronger senses of
smell or sight than others. I wonder if some dog breeds rely more on their
sense of smell than others or if all dogs rely on their sense of sight as much
as my dog does. I also wonder if he would find other foods faster than he
was able to find the roast beef.

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