Why do dogs sniff our crotch? - Toutoupourledog

Why does he adopt this somewhat embarrassing behavior and can we do something to prevent it?

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Sniff to get to know

Our dogs are often masters in the matter! They always find a way to embarrass their humans by stealing their underwear from the laundry basket to display to guests or by barking at all the passers-by who are leisurely walking down the sidewalk in front of their house.

But no behavior is as embarrassing as that of a dog who greets someone when they arrive at your home by sniffing their crotch or behind.

In reality, your dog doesn't care about purely human conveniences and your embarrassment.When he adopts this behavior, he simply uses his sense of smell, his sharpest sense, to gather as much information as possible about the newcomer. Moreover, if you observe the behavior of your dog well, he does the same with his congeners and very often begins any meeting with an olfactory inspection of the hindquarters or the “private parts” of his new canine friend.

Also Read: Why Do Dogs Always Sniff Their Bottoms?

Dogs have a very sharp sense of smell made up of 125 to 250 million olfactory receptors in the nasal cavities and an olfactory cortex (part of the brain dedicated to analyzing smells) 40 times greater than that of humans. Their sense of smell would even be powerful enough to detect substances at concentrations of one part per billion. In other words, they could be able to detect the presence of a liquid substance, at the rate of a single drop diluted in 20 Olympic swimming pools!

This incredible ability comes in part from a second olfactory system located in the dog's nasal cavity called the vomeronasal organ or Jacobson's organ. This organ allows dogs to perceive pheromones, odors not detectable by humans and which are real chemical messengers. They thus participate in olfactory communication within the species.

But why the crotch?

If dogs are therefore naturally driven to smell everything around them, they nevertheless seem to have a preference for the private parts of their congeners as in human beings.

In fact, this attraction is very easy to explain.

In dogs, pheromones are partly secreted by glands located on either side of the anus. So it's no wonder that dogs pick up scent information directly "at the source" by sniffing other dogs' buttocks.

In humans, on the other hand, there are not, strictly speaking, pheromone-secreting glands in their private parts. It would seem that the apocrine glands present in number at this level are responsible for the obsession of some dogs for our crotch. Apocrine glands are a type of sweat glands found in the perineum and armpits. These glands naturally produce a very fragrant substance (and this, even when we are clean) and whose compounds could approach pheromones. It is therefore not surprising that a dog seeks to perceive this smell, especially in people with whom he does not live every day, to get to know this person better.

How to stop a dog from sniffing people's crotch?

You will understand, sniffing a person's private parts is completely normal in dogs. And the best thing is to let him do it!

Nevertheless, if you feel embarrassed by your dog's behavior, you can try to prevent it by diverting his behavior. The ideal is to teach him to sniff another, more socially acceptable part of the body instead.

To do this, present your closed point to your dog, at the height of his nose.

When he approaches it, reward his behavior with a training clicker if he is already familiar with it or by verbally praising him and using a treat from the other hand. Get your dog to touch your fist with his nose when you introduce it to him, then associate a word of your choice with this behavior. Once your dog has mastered this behavior at home (with you and everyone in your household), teach him to respond to this cue in public. Ask for help from those around you (neighbors, friends) so that your dog responds to this request when he meets new people.

Teaching your dog to fist rather than crotch at your request will be useful to divert his attention from the crotch of the person you meet. In addition, it will still allow your dog to discover the newcomer by using his sense of smell, which is respectful of his natural tendency to discover the world using his nose!

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