Ever experience that awkward moment when a dog is suddenly glued to your lady or man parts like you’ve hidden a piece of steak down there? You try to maneuver casually away as to not draw attention to yourself, placing your hand in front of yourself as a guard, waving off any intruders. This might be enough to give some dogs the hint, but with others it escalates. Soon it’s like a bull match with a target on your nether regions and your bopping and weaving to avoid the wet-nosed assault.
Or maybe it’s your dog who has eyes on the prize. Either way it’s an embarrassing situation that begs the question of “why?!”
Why Do Dogs Sniff Humans In The Nether Regions?
To answer this, me must first answer another important question: Why do dogs sniff each other’s butts and private parts?
Dogs navigate the world via their nose, and sniffing the crotch of a human or other dogs is their way of gathering information.
“When they do this to other dogs in particular, they get information about that dog’s sex, hormones, stress levels, even how hostile this dog might be,” says canine behaviorist and trainer Dianna M. Young, owner of Camano Island Kennels in Camano Island, Wash., and Stella Ruffington’s Doggy Daycare in Seattle. She adds that they can learn similar information about people, too.
The canine sense of smell is extremely powerful. Human noses have 5 million to 10 million olfactory receptors; the canine nose has as many as 220 million such receptors.
But the differences don’t stop there. According to the American Museum of Natural History, canine and human brains both possess a neocortex that facilitates complex thought. But while the human neocortex is considerably larger than a dog’s, the odor-processing area of the dog’s neocortex is approximately four times larger than a human’s. This allows dog’s to not only captures scents, but also to make sense of scents in a way that humans can’t.
Can I Stop My Dog From Sniffing Crotches?
A little crotch sniffing is no big deal, and you can regard it as simply a dog being a dog. Yet some dogs can be more interested in doing this than others, continuing the behavior past the point of what you consider acceptable, especially when guests come to your home. Sound familiar?
If your dog treats crotch-sniffing like a job, then do obedience work with your pup and teach him some boundaries, Young says. For instance, keep your dog on a leash when people arrive at your house, and ask him to hold a Sit or Down until you release him. Eventually, you can wean him off the leash, perhaps even commanding him to go to a special location when people arrive until you give him the OK to move, says Young.
Why Do Dogs: