Can Nose Prints Be Used to Identify Dogs?
Grade Level: 3rd to 5th; Type: Life Science: Zoology
This project will demonstrate that every dog has a unique noseprint.
- What shapes can you see in the nose prints?
- How are the nose prints similar?
- How are they different?
Have you ever noticed the ridges on a dog's nose? They are just like the ridges on our fingertips. They are also just as unique. In this project, we'll take several dogs' noseprints and discover just how unique they are!
- Food coloring
- Paper towels
- 5-10 Dogs
- Small pad of paper
- Damp washcloth
- Lab notebook
- Pen or pencil
- Use a clean paper towel to gently dab your dog's nose. You want to dry the nose, but you don't want to be rough or rub back and forth.
- Pour some food coloring onto another paper towel. Dab the paper towel with the food coloring onto your dog's nose.
- Gently press the pad of paper against your dog's nose. Be gentle. Don't press hard, but be sure to cover the dog's entire nose. You should now have an impression of the dog's nose print!
- Use a damp washcloth to gently dab the dog's nose, removing the food coloring.
- Observe the impression. Record your observations in your notebook.
- Repeat these steps with each dog.
- Analyze your data. Are the prints similar? Are they different? How?
Terms/Concepts: ridges, fingerprint, impression
- Pet Science: 50 Purr-fectly Woof-Worthy Activities for You and Your Pets, by Veronika Alice Gunter and Rain Newcomb (Lark Books, New York, 2006).
- "Dog's Noseprints Can Be Used to Prove Identity, Just Like Fingerprints," by Lori Thomas Dickert, AllPetNews
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.