Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other's Bums? Should You Let Them?

Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other’s Bums? Should You Let Them?

As dog parents obsessed with every detail about our beloved children, we think about every tiny action in our dogs. While some of these things do make us double up laughing, some make us worry to our core. And one of these worrying actions is dogs smell each other’s bums. And knowing that we don’t know what to make of this action is depressing. 

But why do dogs smell each other’s bums? Smelling each other’s butts is actually a form of trying to get to know one another. There are two anal glands in a dog’s butt that gives out a strong scent that another dog’s enhanced nose can track. And this scent will let the sniffer know everything about the other dog, whether it is a friendly one, whether he has met this stranger before, and even if this new dog is suitable for them to mate with. 

Although dogs smelling each other’s bums look and sound gross, it is like how we say hello to start up a conversation translated into the dog’s language.

And after knowing that this is usual dog behavior, we get the following questions in our overprotective minds: should we let our pets sniff some other dog’s behind? Is it safe? Isn’t it unhealthy?

And that is precisely what we are going to find out. So read till the end to know more about this dog habit. 

Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other’s Bums?

Communication methods in the dog world are entirely different from those of us. While we say “Hello! How are you?” our pets will go and sniff each other’s bottoms. Our strong suit is the words we speak. We can use our voices to get something done no matter how hard it is. 

Just like that, the strongest suit of a dog is its nose. They can smell 100,000 more scents than that us. Their noses are highly evolved to individually identify almost all the smells in this world.

While we won’t be able to sniff out and identify every spice included in our meal, our dogs have the ability to identify all of that and smell the cook who made the meal accurately. Therefore, using this skill to talk should not be that surprising. 

But what are they talking about when smelling each other’s butts? Dogs smell each other’s bums to understand and identify the following. 

The dog will be able to pinpoint whether this dog they met is hostile or a friend they can trust. If this new dog is an enemy, the sniffing will let them know to be prepared to fight if in case the new canine tries to invade his territory. 

Next, dogs smell each other’s bums, especially a female dogs with much more interest to get to know the girl and find out whether she is ready to mate, suitable for him to mate, and whether the girl likes him.

Sniffing the girl dog will also let them know if she has already coupled with some other dog or if she’s conceived by someone else. 

Not only that, the scents emitted by a dog’s bottom will tell a vast story to the dog such as sex, health status, diet, temperament, etc. 

Smelling each other’s bottoms in the dog world is a big thing. Just like how you make small talk with each other at a get-together. 

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Privates? – Should You Let Them Do It?

According to some dog experts, closing one’s nose with another’s bottom gives the dog a summarized biography of the other dog.

Two anal sacs, which create two strong scents, are the reason behind this strong odor that only a dog could identify. 

Although we see dogs smell each other’s bums, the real concern is not the bum. It is the placement of these strong odor-generating pheromone sacs in their behind.

But, unfortunately, since this is the same place they relieve themselves, is it really okay to let your pet go whiffing other canine butts?

For a start, I have my own experience with this. My Shaggy, a male dog, gets excited whenever he sees another dog and will go sniffing their butts. The same thing happened when I first brought my Kitty home as well.

But until this day, I keep a close eye on Shaggy and Kitty because whenever Shaggy tries to sniff out our cat, the cat will lash out at him and attack the dog with his nails. 

I know that Shaggy is only trying to be “polite” in dog language, but the cat doesn’t seem like it. 

The same thing sometimes happens with other dogs too. There are some girls I know who don’t appreciate my dog checking out their bottoms. It will, again, make them angry and will eventually become a call to war.

Whenever we meet up with dogs that I have suspicions of having the tendency to harm my pet, I will keep Sparkle away from their smelly bottoms. 

So, just like dogs need to get to know each other’s temperaments, it is equally vital that we keep an eye on the dogs just in case. 

And letting your pet sniff any street dogs or dogs you don’t know whether healthy or not will once again put your canine in danger.

Since dog poop may be infected with harmful microbes if the dog is unhealthy, there is a high chance that the same disease will be passed on to your pet through these pheromones as well. 

Therefore, letting your pet sniff everybody may not be very wise. But suppose your dog is a good listener and will immediately obey your commands. Then you have a chance to keep them away from the butts that you don’t approve of him to go sniff.

A simple command such as “come” or “sit” may make them stop whatever they are about to do and come to heel at you again. If not, you may even train your dog to stop any sniffing they are doing at your voice command. 

But it is essential to remember that the action smelling each other’s bums is natural for dogs. Changing this may be tricky and time-consuming. Yet, to keep our pets healthy, it is essential to filter these buts and only let them sniff healthy dogs. 

Now that you know the answer to your question, why do dogs smell each other’s bums?; You can be guaranteed that none of the dogs mean harm to one another. They are just saying hello and trying to make small talk.  

Thank your for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner. See you next time!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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