Why dogs stick their heads out of car windows

Have you ever wondered why dogs put their heads out of car windows? Watch this video and learn more about this common behaviour.


Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


For dogs too, getting out and about excites their wild senses. And for such intelligent animals, you can't beat a road trip. While we are obsessed with visual landmarks, they focus only on scents. We have a measly six million smell receptors, but a dog's nose contains 300 million.

They use it to unravel stories about the world around them. Predictably, most are about food. 

Forty times more of their brain than ours is devoted to deciphering smells.

They home in on those with special significance. A single chemical aldehyde found in blood makes this one-time hunter drool.

There is a way to bring their smelly world to life. Schlieren photography visualises the air currents that carry odours and shows the remarkable workings of a dog's nose. Dogs breathe out through the side slits in their nostrils. As the expelled air rotates, it helps draw more scent into the nose. This two-way current helps a dog gather scent almost continuously. But that's not all. 

A male can smell a female in heat at concentrations of one part in a trillion.

Licking helps capture more of her alluring scent. His tongue takes the odour to a second smell organ in the mouth, hardwired to the brain and tuned to these sexual pheromones. It's love at first sniff.

For dogs, being a passenger rivals any wild experience, but it can be tinged with disappointment too.

The streets of Paris may be full of romantic promise, but pet dogs are seldom in control of their destiny.

Love may be in the air, but it's so rarely fulfilled.



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Submitted by Miguelitorico1996 on Tue, 18/01/2022 - 21:44


Yes, actually I have one pet, it's a dog called Yeico, it's a five-year-old golden retriever.

Submitted by yusufuldiz on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 14:39

We've had many different types of pet in our home through the years. I love all of them, cats, dogs, rabbits, birds... Also in the coming years, i would like to have a fox friend and/or maybe an owl!. But i cannot find them in here, especially foxes. It's not the right climate to having them.

Submitted by CorvidaeSapiens on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 08:25

I have had many pets in my life so far and even now, I own a pair of young zebra finches. I love domestic animals, because they bring life into a household more than anything. They can be fun playmates, aesthetic additions to the interior design, or compassionate companions whenever you need comfort. They will understand you and be by your side, even though they may not understand the problem in itself. Our finches, Cześnik and Klara, are already tame and we handfeed them. Their singing can get bothersome at times, but I like to listen to it nevertheless.

Submitted by M19 on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 11:21

I have had several of them. I love pets especially cats because they are cute and very funny, playful little creatures. My current one is a he-cat, still a kitten but extremely brilliant when it comes to hunting. Without freaking, it can climb up walls very fast and make broad leaps so as to make a catch. In the beginning I had to spend ample time showing him all the secret places where he could find prey like mice, lizards, etc. It was fun to see the curiosity in his face when he made several attempts in vain to a kill. I would make him feel positive though. I would have him feed on sardines and milk just to cheer him up. Now, he has become very much independent and hunts whenever he wants to. I do not have to worry so much when he goes out to venture in the woods amongst the deadliest preys and the wildest cats out there.
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Submitted by sinuhe69 on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 12:06

When I was a young kid, I had a white cat but someone had burnt its whiskers, tortured it and the cat died horribly. I was also chased by dogs so I’ve never liked dogs. I always feel uneasy around dogs, even now. I’m a little afraid of their licking and their barking get on my nerves. I guess I never have my luck with dogs.
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Submitted by Mohammed Belkacemi on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 07:09

The video is useful, but the music it's little bit high, so it's hard to understand the speaker, because music hurt my ears, hope make voice of the speaker over than the music.

Submitted by Jaco on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 03:12

I like dogs because they’re loyal, this reminds me of Akim my first dog i used to have back in my country very interesting and protective companion.

Submitted by VR Unnikrishnan on Sun, 08/11/2020 - 17:07

I really like pets, especially dogs, why because they are very loyal and so grateful. I recalled memories about pet dog Tintu. Tintu was very friendly ours and most dangerous towards strangers even though he had bitten three strangers who were passing in front of our home. Two years back he met an accident and died at the spot. Those of our family members was so sad about his fate.