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Most Dogs Hate the Smell of Citrus
Does yours?
The odor of an orange to most dogs is like the odor of trash to most humans--ugh.

Typically, dogs like going for walks, eating chicken, belly rubs and chasing squirrels. Sure there are exceptions, but these truths apply to most dogs. Similarly, there is general agreement among canines about what is undesirable, or even repulsive. At the top of that list is the smell of citrus.

 
Dogs’ distaste for oranges, lemons, grapefruit or the smell of same can be useful. Many dogs can be deterred from chewing on items that have been treated with citrus odors. (To be fair, a small percentage of dogs just consider these flavors to be the icing on the cake, so to speak, and are even more likely to go after any object covered with such an odor. This is nature’s way of preventing any of us from ever feeling confident that we know what is going on.) To see how your dog feels about these fruits, peel a messy orange so that your hands are covered with the sticky juice and put your fingers near your dog’s nose. If your dog backs away, making a face, then you’ve got a member of the citrus-hating majority. If your dog licks your fingers, then you don’t.
 
If your dog dislikes the smell of these acidic fruits, it may be possible to use the scent or juice of them as a deterrent. However, be mindful of using these odors to scent your home for your own pleasure. You may inadvertently be making your home smell as bad to your dog as a trash dump would to you.
 
This video shows Aspen turning away from an orange. She is among the citrus-hating majority of dogs.

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

Photo: left-hand, Flickr

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