Unique as the Nose on Your Face
Here’s another bit-o-history from the Popular Mechanics archives:
This interesting little blurb was published back in February 1933. Is your dog’s noseprint as unique as your fingerprint? According to Bowden’s Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology — it is, and in fact the Canadian Kennel Club has accepted nose prints as proof of identity since 1938.
There’s even a company Dognose ID, that specializes in dog noseprint work. Here’s an excerpt from their website:
Awhile back, someone had a great idea: fingerprint every child, so he or she could be easily identified if ever lost or missing – even years later.
Now we’ve taken the same approach, and applied it to man’s best friend.
Introducing Dognose ID. The first painless, noninvasive and permanent method of recording your dog’s identity. If your dog is ever lost or stolen, it can easily be identified, quickly and accurately, with virtually no chance of error. But we go one step further than any other know method. We go directly into the field to all shelters to ask them to be on the lookout for your pet.
This means you have a much better chance of getting your pet back. Fast, before he or she is euthanized.
Dognose ID works just like fingerprint identification and is based on the unique patterns of your dog’s nose. It can never be altered or removed. Unlike any other means of identification, it never changes, which means it will always be just as accurate as the first day you registered with us – whether your dog is a new puppy or full grown. If ever that positive identification is needed – our DNA experts will positively identify your pet.
Of course the utlity of this system is predicated on the concept that a shelter or animal control authority will actually take your dog’s nose print, compare it to a database and that its staff will understand how to make an accurate comparison. Since nearly all shelters have access to microchip readers and a tattoo can be checked with little more than some shaved hair, interesting as it is, Dognose ID isn’t a program I’m going to rely on. At least not yet.