Let’s face it, our dogs can do things that simply perplex their owners. How many times have you just had to shake your head at your dog’s seemingly strange behavior? Or been revolted by something that just seems disgusting to you?
Amazingly, there are people, canine behaviorists, who have studied this to try to help us understand our canine companions. Their observations can enhance the human/canine connection we share with our pets. Many of their findings explain our pet’s behaviors through survival pack instincts that enabled dogs to communicate and flourish before they became domesticated.
1Sniffing Other Dog’s Behinds
Why, when one dog meets another, must they focus on the behind of the other dog? Generally this is reciprocated, and it can continue while the dogs circle around, appearing to almost obsessively be focused on the nether regions. As humans, we see this as completely revolting. To dogs, apparently this is saying “hello”.
Given a dog’s amazing olfactory sense, it can learn a huge amount about the other dog this way. Health status, reproductive status, activities, home environment, who knows all that they tell about each other just through scent. We may be uncomfortable with this method of greeting, but perhaps they see our greeting rituals as equally strange. Can you imagine what they think of us shaking hands with another person?
Now, if a dog does not engage in this greeting, you will usually witness body stiffness, face to face challenging, growls. If one dog does not back down and submit, there may be aggression. So, consider butt-smelling as a polite greeting between dogs!