Experiments

Beat Bloodhound

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Dog Myths"
Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage sniffed out whether throwing a bloodhound off a scent is as easy as it's portrayed in movies. According to Hollywood, all it takes is some simple zigzagging around or dashing through a river to confuse a pooch. But when Jamie Hyneman tried to escape a bloodhound hot on his trail, it proved nearly impossible to ditch the dog.

A bloodhound's olfactory sense is said to be about 1,000 times better than a human's, which is why the canine is so good at sniffing out our odor-emitting skin cells. In fact, that personal perfume is strong enough that none of Jamie's bloodhound-busting tactics worked. He zigzagged and doubled back on his trail, ran through a river, washed and changed clothes, doused himself in coffee and cologne, and even covered his tracks in ground pepper- all to no avail. Each time, Morgan the bloodhound sniffed right through the ruse and found the hiding Hyneman. Up against centuries of top-notch breeding, the busted myth was no match for the bloodhound's superior schnoz.

Three years after their original bloodhound special, Jamie and Adam hopped back on the trail to re-challenge the breed's unbeatable nose. Using the same dog trainer and Morgan for the retest, Jamie tried a set of new tricks to lose the keen-nosed canine. He dropped a smelly fish on the ground to distract Morgan's smell receptors, doused himself in scent enzyme erasers to eliminate his odors, and even crossed and re-crossed a waist-high, 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide) river to wash away his tracks. Each time, the pup picked up Jamie's personal perfume and rooted him out of hiding.

Defeated by the dog not once, but twice, the MythBusters — and trusty Morgan — confirmed that you really can't beat a bloodhound.

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