My dad had this great idea that he never pursued, he said that dogs were not interested in watching TV because they were driven more by smell than sight. He came up with Smellavision, a device that would emit different odors to hold a dog’s attention. It was an impractical device, as who in their right mind would buy such a contraption and also, he had no idea how to make it. Dogs have a nose for odors, as they possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in humans. The part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than that which a human has. Certain dogs will hunt by scent rather than by sight. These hunting dogs and are generally regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses among dogs.
The phrase, “Barking up the wrong tree” is an allusion to the mistake made by dogs when they believe they have chased a prey up a tree, but the game may have escaped by leaping from one tree to another. This does not have to be associated with just dogs, as humans could also be accused of barking up the wrong tree. if they get something wrong while feeling that they were on the right track.
Written for Fandango’s February Expressions FFE Daily Adage – Barking up the wrong tree.