Dogs: What’s the secret of their sense of smell? (Encore)

Freedom, a beagle trained to sniff out bedbugs, on July 26, 2010 in the Queens borough of New York.  (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Freedom, a beagle trained to sniff out bedbugs, on July 26, 2010 in the Queens borough of New York. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever seen a dog, you know they like to sniff — the ground, people, each other’s butts. They like to smell just about everything. But why? We’re digging into the science of smell and how dogs are able to decode things we can’t even begin to imagine.

And in this episode we have a brand new Moment of Um: How do bees make honey?

Anneke Lisberg and her dog Canyon.

Anneke Lisberg and her dog Canyon.

We spoke with Dr. Anneke Lisberg, an ethologist at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Read more about some of her research here.

We also paid a visit to PawPADs, an organization that trains service dogs for people with physical disabilities, diabetes and autism.

Linda Ball introduced us to Breezy, who’s training to be a diabetes assistance dog. Here they are:

We met Linda and Breezy today! Breezy is training to be a service dog. She is one highly skilled pup!

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To train Breezy, Linda uses samples (pictured below) collected from people with diabetes. The person will breathe onto a piece of gauze when his or her blood sugar level is low and they put the gauze into a small tube. Then, Breezy is trained to recognize the scent of a person’s breath when his or her blood sugar level is low or high.

Sample used in training Breezy, a diabetes assistance dog.

Sample used in training Breezy, a diabetes assistance dog.