We spoke to Sam the Dog Coach to find out why we often see dogs sniffing each others bottoms.
Dog’s have a MUCH better sense of smell than humans.
We have about 5 million odour receptors in our noses which sounds like a lot until you find out that dogs have up to 220 million odour receptors. Yep, that is a lot. We can’t even imagine how dogs explore and discover from the world with their far superior noses!
Whereas humans might shake hands with each other as a greeting, dogs much prefer to sniff each others bottoms. This might seem strange to us humans but by sniffing another dog's bottom our dogs can learn many things and get lots of information such as the gender of the dog, its health, emotional state, and lots more interesting stuff. They can also discover if they have met that dog before by recognising their unique scent.
Most dogs will also feel much safer sniffing a new dog's bottom than sniffing around their faces - where their teeth are! A dog sniffing another dog’s bottom when they meet is in fact a polite behaviour and unless one of the dogs is very fearful, it shouldn’t be discouraged. Letting our dogs sniff for information can be very enjoyable and rewarding for them.
Bottom sniffing is very normal behaviour for dogs. It’s a way to communicate through scent chemicals because they can’t communicate through words like us humans. So remember, sniffing is a dog’s number one way to explore, discover and find out information about the world.