Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?

Mutual butt-sniffing is one of the first things that happens when two dogs meet. This may seem disgusting or embarrassing to you, but your dog sees it differently. Why do dogs sniff each other’s rear ends? Is this a healthy and normal thing to do?

While you or I can only vaguely detect a personal scent, our dogs pick up a number of clues through their noses.

Why does my dog keep sniffing my bum?

Dogs have apocrine glands all over their bodies, but the highest concentration is found in the genitals and anus, hence why they sniff each other’s butts. … For humans, these glands are concentrated in the armpits and genitals.

Why do dogs sniff people's privates?

Because apocrine glands are scent glands, their secretions usually have an odor. Dogs are certainly interested in the pot-pourri of odors emanating from this area. Dogs are therefore attracted to sniffing private areas in humans just as they are attracted to sniffing dog butts and their genital regions.

What do dogs learn from butt sniffing?

A butt sniff for dogs is like a handshake for humans. … They help a dog to know if another dog is male or female, how old it is, what it eats, how healthy it is, and even what kind of mood they’re in. The chemicals also help it to know if other dogs are strangers or if they’ve met before.

While dogs and humans have many things in common, this signature canine maneuver is where we part ways. Whats embarrassing to us, though, is not only proper etiquette for dogs, its a truly amazing form of chemical communication.

Unfamiliar dogs inherently know not to sniff near each others ears, lest approaching a canine stranger head-on is perceived as aggressive and met with a bite. The butt conveys a particularly fascinating array of information through two small anal glands, or sacs, nestled inside the rectum.

In short: It’s their most effective method for a meet and greet. But why do dogs sniff butts specifically, as opposed to the other parts of their fellow canine companions? Let’s take a look at this seemingly bizarre behavior.

Two pouches known as anal sacs produce these scents, which provide information to other dogs about everything from your pet’s health and reproductive status, happiness, gender, owner and diet, the article said. Typically, the behavior transcends gender as well, although research published in the Journal of the International Society for Anthrozoology back in 1992 suggests that in public spaces, male dogs do more butt sniffing than females.

You will definitely want to spend quality time training your dog to listen to commands such as sit, stay and come, regardless of if they’re an aggressive butt sniffer or more on the shy and gentle side.

Dogs arent well-versed in the world of human boundaries, especially when it comes to using their nose. They often greet a new dog with a quick sniff of a rear end, so that often extends to how they greet a new human. Dogs will shove their noses into a humans crotch, owner or guest, with no hesitation. While the invasive sniffing can be embarrassing, especially if your dog does it to a visitor, its their way of saying hello and learning about someone.

This is why dogs are used to sniff out drugs, bombs, cancer , insulin levels , bed bugs, and more. These glands release pheromones that convey all different types of information such as age, sex, mood, and if a mammal is able to mate.

Dogs have apocrine glands all over their bodies, but the highest concentration is found in the genitals and anus, hence why they sniff each others butts. Intact male dogs are known for being especially avid sniffers when searching for a mate since they want to know if a female is ovulating or pregnant. Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc., FRSC writes about how Australian Shepherds were trained to sniff out cows that had just ovulated.

Use the Club Search or Training Resources for more information on finding Scent Work classes near you. This large, interactive nose work mat provides hours of mental stimulation and fun for your pup.

Why Dogs Sniff Butts

A dog’s olfactory system is complex and advanced, making its sense of smell far superior to that of a human. To give you an idea of the difference, consider the fact that humans have about 5 million olfactory receptors in their noses and dogs have about 220 million. Dogs can smell layers upon layers of scents even when we can smell nothing. That’s an impressive nose.If you had a nose like that, you’d probably want to sniff everything too! Dogs sniff their way through life for two main reasons:

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts?

“When one dog greets another with a nose in the derriere, (they’re) basically getting a brief biography of (their) new friend, written in scent molecules and pheromones,” according to an article by Mental Floss. Two pouches — known as anal sacs — produce these scents, which provide information to other dogs about everything from your pet’s health and reproductive status, happiness, gender, owner and diet, the article said.Dogs aren’t the only creatures who get to know each other in this up-close-and-personal fashion, though. There are several other species whose anal glands secrete pheromones that communicate their information to others. For example, cats also have active anal glands. According to PetPlace, these glands “produce strong-smelling secretions intended to send chemical signals about that cat’s identity to other animals.”But why do dogs sniff butts of pets and not their human pals? Well, this behavior isn’t really about the butt, it’s about the placement of those active glands. Humans are designed a bit differently, and the keys to our identity aren’t located in quite the same places. So while butt sniffing might be more of an animal-to-animal behavior, gland sniffing spans across many of Earth’s species.

So Why Do Dogs Sniff Human Crotches?

But what does that have to do with a dog’s need to sniff a human’s crotch? It all comes down to sweat glands, apocrine glands to be precise. These glands release pheromones that convey all different types of information such as age, sex, mood, and if a mammal is able to mate. Dogs have apocrine glands all over their bodies, but the highest concentration is found in the genitals and anus, hence why they sniff each other’s butts.Intact male dogs are known for being especially avid sniffers when searching for a mate since they want to know if a female is ovulating or pregnant. Most mammals have apocrine glands, including humans. For humans, these glands are concentrated in the armpits and genitals. Since a dog can often only reach a human’s genitals, that’s where they head to gather information. Scent hounds, such as Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds, and Beagles are more likely to sniff at crotches due to a highly-tuned sense of smell.

Channel Your Dog’s Sense of Scent

There are many ways to channel your dog’s nose into fun activities for both you and your dog.AKC Scent Work is a sport that mimics the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. Scent Work takes this amazing working relationship and turns it into a fun game that any dog can play. Any dog — mixed breed or purebred — is welcome to participate.Because the searches mimic real-life scenarios, training can be done at home or in the community. You can also check out local Scent Work clubs, and many dog training facilities offer training in Scent Work. Use the Club Search or Training Resources for more information on finding Scent Work classes near you.