Why do dogs smell people’s butts and animals?
Dogs love to smell the bottoms of people and conspecifics. But why do they do this? To understand this, we need to look at the sense of smell and the social behavior of dogs.
Humans and dogs often have different ideas about what is polite and not. For dogs, smelling each other’s bottoms is part of good manners, and that’s why they do it to us bipeds. As a human, on the other hand, we find it unpleasant and embarrassing when a cold dog’s snout suddenly lands in our private parts. What is behind this behavior?
Social behavior: Why dogs smell each other’s bottoms
Mutual butt-sniffing among dogs can be compared to a greeting. While humans shake hands or kiss each other and ask how the other is doing, dogs smell each other’s bottoms. Dogs can’t ask their peers how they are doing. They communicate little by sounds but a lot by body language and smells. The sense of smell of our cold-beaked dogs is ten thousand times, if not a hundred thousand times finer than the human nose.
Via so-called pheromones, scents that in dogs emanate primarily from the anal glands on the buttocks, the four-legged friends learn essential information about their fellow species. They are helped by their sensitive nose and the so-called Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ. It is specialized in perceiving pheromones. Dogs can smell the sex of their counterparts and their readiness to mate. They also sniff out information about the other animal’s health and diet. The mood and emotional state of the sniffed can also be “read” by dogs from the pheromones emitted by his bottom.
Why do dogs also sniff humans at the Po and in the intimate area?
Dogs can understand human communication to a certain degree and adapt. But they remain dogs with instinctive canine behavior. So when they smell people on their butts or in their private parts, they like to get to know that person. These are the parts of the body where we smell most intensely. Mainly when people emit complex smells, many dogs can’t resist. In this case, their curiosity defeats all the rules of etiquette they learned during their upbringing.
As with four-legged friends, there are moments in our lives when we humans emit more varied scents than usual. For example, when women are ovulating or menstruating, this smells particularly exciting to dogs. Shortly after giving birth, pregnant women also emit a unique scent that the fur noses can detect. The same applies to people who have recently had sex or are not careful about intimate hygiene.
The canine nose helps agriculture.
Dogs’ ability to sniff out mammals’ readiness to mate based on the pheromones in their private parts is helping agriculture. American researchers found that dogs can smell the ovulation of cows with excellent reliability. They trained several Australian Shepherds to let them know when cows are fertile. This makes it easier for farmers to raise cattle.
How to break your dog’s habit of sniffing strangers’ crotches
Unfortunately, many people still find it unpleasant when dogs sniff their buttocks or private parts. Therefore, it may be a good idea to at least begin to discourage your four-legged friend from sniffing the remote parts of strangers. If your dog is a passionate butt sniffer, you have no choice but to keep him on a leash at the beginning, when visitors come or when you meet strangers on the way.
At the same time, you can improve his obedience with obedience training. When visitors arrive, give your dog the command “sit” or “down” until your guests have arrived. During the walk, you can teach him the command “heel” so that he does not go to greet strangers without your permission.