Why Do Dogs Smell Your Crotch & Should You Stop This Behavior?
Dogs are masters for putting us in a lot of embarrassing situations. Did you ever meet with your friend, and your dog started to sniff their private parts? Or did you invite guests to your house, and your dog went from one to another and sniffed everyone's crotch?
This could be quite embarrassing and awkward for you and your guests, and because of this, we bring you the explanation for why your dog likes to smell your crotch, and whether or not you should stop this behavior.
Why do dogs smell your crotch?
We all know that dogs rely on their sense of smell. Dogs have much more scent receptors than humans, and because of that, they can gather all sorts of information from the environment that we can't. Dogs use their sense of smell to analyze and learn about things around them, including people.
So that said, dogs will like to sniff your crotch to gather new information about you. This is mainly connected to the sweat gland or, more precisely, apocrine glands. Pheromones are released from these glands, and they will give all sorts of information from a dog's perspective.
Apocrine glands in humans can mostly be found in the armpits and groin area. That said, it is very unlikely that your dog will be able to sniff your armpit because they are out of his reach, so they choose the groin area. These mentioned glands will produce sweat, and when this sweat mixes with bacteria found on our skin, our body odor is created, which is what dogs will try to sniff.
Also, we use deodorants to cover armpit odor, so even if your dog was able to come near your armpits, he couldn't get all the information he could from the groin.
RELATED: Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?
How to teach the dog not to show this behavior?
Stopping your dog from sniffing other people's crotches is not as hard as it may seem. The best way to do this is to redirect their attention. Whenever you notice that your dog is about to start sniffing, you should insist that he perform another task and reward your dog.
Another way you can prevent this is to tell all the guests who will come into your home to greet your dog with their hands. By offering their hand, the dog will be able to also gather some information about the person, and after initial contact, this will prevent your dog from sniffing the groin area.
The best trick that has proven to be good and working is a fist bump movement. Whenever your dog tries to sniff your groin, you just have to offer him your fist, and whenever he touches it, you will reward your dog.
Once the dog starts recognizing what is expected of him, you can use a command like a "fist" or "bump" to let him know what he must do.
Now that your dog fully understands the assignment, you can try it outdoors or when you have a guest to test if your dog fully understands what is expected from him.
This is a pretty easy and simple training method that will work on most dogs. Don't get discouraged if your dog doesn't fully understand immediately what he has to do. This will take patience from your side to get the best results.
RELATED: What is Tracking?
Should you stop this dog behavior?
You will have to decide, depending on your dog and how big a sniffer he is. If this happens occasionally, our advice is not to stop this behavior. Since dogs rely on their sense of smell, for sure, there is a reason why your dog, at that given moment, started to sniff someone's groin area.
If your dog does it more often or gets you in many unpleasant situations, you can start thinking about stopping this behavior. Try the tricks we mentioned earlier, and we are sure they will work.
Remember that dogs need different smells to gather information about their environment. If you decide to take groin sniffing from their life, you must provide your dog with the opportunity to collect other important smells.
If you want to encourage your dog to use his senses of smell in a fun way, you can start scent work training. This type of work is usually done by police and military dogs, but there is no reason why you shouldn't do it at home with your dog.
The main goal is to train your dog to recognize a given smell and to learn to communicate that they found him. This will allow your dog to use his senses in a safe and fun way. This will also allow you to create a stronger bond with your dog and spend more time together. So it is a win-win situation.
RELATED: Scent Work in Dogs - Can My Dog Do it
Crotch sniffing is normal behavior from a dog's perspective, which shouldn't concern you. Dogs will try to sniff your groin to gather all sorts of information about you, but if this behavior seems a bit inappropriate or if your dog does it too often, you can start thinking about removing crotch sniffing from your dog's life.
World Dog Finder team