Why Do Dogs Smell Human Crotches and Butts?

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Dogs do things we think impolite. You’ve probably had it happen to you or maybe it was your dog zeroing in on your friends’ private parts for a quick sniff to say hello. You end up feeling embarrassed. The best way to “defuse” the situation is to understand and explain why dogs do what they do.

Dogs don’t know that this greeting is unwelcome to humans

In fact, dogs commonly smell the rear of another dog upon meeting like a sort of handshake to humans. It is a very natural, instinctive, and basic form of dog-to-dog communication that helps share information just like a status update. When dogs meet, this quick sniff is how they say “hi” or get reacquainted after time apart.

As you might know that dogs have a very keen sense of smell, which some experts estimate is anywhere from 40 times to 100,000 times more sensitive than the human sense of smell. A sniff can detect the presence of apocrine scent glands on each side of dogs’ rectums. These organs, called anal glands, produce strong-smelling secretions that communicate the sex of the dog, what the dog is eating, and even some clues about a dog’s emotional state or readiness for mating. A good sniff can also tell dogs if the encounter is likely to be friendly or not.

People who ovulate, have recently had sex, given birth, or are menstruating or pregnant attracts dogs more

Dogs may interact with humans as they would with another dog, greeting them with a sniff. Humans also have many different scent glands in their genital area, so it’s not a surprise that a dog’s highly tuned nose would find the smell intriguing. Dogs will crotch- or butt-sniff more frequently with people whose bodies express complex smells, such as those who have recently had sex or given birth (especially if they are still nursing their child) or are menstruating or pregnant. Studies have also suggested that many dogs are sensitive to human ovulation and even that of other species. When a female ovulates this also seems to cause a change in pheromones that attracts dogs. Some researchers have been aware of this fact and trained Australian shepherd dogs to find cows that are ovulating, a practice that aids farmers in breeding practices.

Now when you know their amazing capability of smell and the reasons behind their action, we can stop holding a grudge against dog’s seemingly offensive behaviour of sniffing.

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