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Don’t Sniff There!: Why Dogs Sniff Us Inappropriately.
Welcome back, everyone, I’ve got a brand new article for you all to take a look at this week.
Now, some of us have dogs that can be a little impolite.
Jumping up, barking, trying to push people to get attention are just a few things I’ve seen, but there’s one I want to address today.
All dogs like to sniff, but some make it a habit to make it a little more personal than others.
We’re going to over a few reasons dog might try to sniff our more private areas.
What Do They Like To Sniff?
For any dog, a scent tells a story. Whether it’s a story of going to the store, being out at the park, or meeting others dogs, you come home with smells whether you know it or not.
With a sense of smell that ranges from 10,000 to 100,000 times better than our own.
So much nose power results in a lot of easy to find smells for our sweet babies, and that in turn leads to a lot of big distractions.
What do our puppies like to sniff the most?
The number one thing to sniff for a dog is, of course, another dog!
What’s more fun than learning where someone else has been, where they’ve sniffed, and who they are?
Of course, dogs like to sniff more private areas where the anal glands and genitals are due to the strong scent there.
This is why you see some dogs mounting and humping in colder weather to scent mark things.
So how does this apply to why they sniff us so thoroughly from time to time?
Why Are You Sniffing Me?
Now, there are a few reasons your four legged baby might decide to get a little too personal when they sniff you.
To See Where You’ve Been
The first is a most obvious one – you’ve been gone! If you’ve been out all day, or even out of town for a few, you’re bringing back a world of smells and wonder for you dog, and they want a nose full of it.
So you walk into your home, greet your babies, and the closest thing for them to sniff is right in between your legs.
Any seats you sat on and everyone who sat on them beforehand, anything you brushed up against, even if you put your brand new niece (her name’s Adeline and she’s the cutest) and everything they smell like all come to your dog in an olfactory buffet.
So of course, they go straight for that spot, nose trying to burrow in to find the best scent. They’re not sniffing you, they’re sniffing where you’ve been!
It Has the Most Smells
The next reason is for the same reason they sniff each other. While it might be embarrassing for us to admit, the place they’re trying to sniff is one the places where we get the least fresh.
Believe it not, this is also how they gauge our mood and wellbeing, too.
The chemical smells we give off change depending on if we’re happy, sad, or mad because we watched someone throw a third interception in a row during the Sunday morning game.
So, in order to get a good bead on how we’re doing, the nose goes up and the dog finds itself being scooted away from quickly.
Instead of going for the smells of places we’ve been around, they’re trying to find the spot on us that gathers the most scent, and give it a good sniffing out.
If you’ve ever had a dog like my Yorkie Poo, Spaghetti, that liked to steal unmentionables from the hamper, then parade them around in order to make them into just regular mentionables, then you just learned why they like to do that.
To add onto that, your scent is usually reassuring to a dog, so they may want to seek out that smell in order to relax themselves.
The final reason is scent marking.
Dogs typically like to either have something smells like them, or smell like something that they enjoy.
Chonkers, my big lab, will sometimes rub his face on, or roll over on treats for a while before smelling them.
He loves having that smell on and around him, so he gets it properly into his fur before finishing his snacks.
By pressing their nose and face against a part of us that collects smells, they can be trying to add our scent to their own library of scents to take it with them.
It’s the same reason that dogs roll around in nasty things outside – they like the smell and they’re saving it for later.
How Can I Get Them To Stop?
Getting a dog to stop sniffing is like getting my husband to stop feeling them from the table – you’ve got a tricky road ahead of you.
Remember the first rule of trying to solve a bad behavior, “Redirect, don’t Reprimand.”
If your dog’s nose is the problem, find something else for them to sniff. Many toys nowadays have smells already set into them, and filling a treat ball with food has always been a good way to redirect a dog.
If they’re sniffing because of separation anxiety and they just want to get that smell on themselves, then practicing ways to have your dog greet you politely is the solution.
Asking for a Sit before they get any attention is a great way to break that excited ‘puppy momentum’ that all dogs can have.
This also can help solve the issue of your dog wanting to smell like you, and vice versa, as once they sit down you can hug and pet them as much as you’d like to.
What A Stinky Problem!
Now, we’ve all been out at a pet store or friend’s house, and had their fur baby decide to take our temperature with their nose.
It’s an embarrassing problem, but it is a common problem with some pretty easy fixes. Just follow some of the advice here, and you’ll have a polite dog in no time!