Pet Peeves: What are they sniffing for?

We seem to tolerate our pets sniffing other pets butts on account that they are  "just saying hello”, but it's still pretty gross.


Guess what?  There is so much more to it!  Did you know that cats have glands on their foreheads along the tail, chin, lips, foreheads, and under the front of their paws that they actually have the ability to” taste” smells!


Dogs and cats have around 300 million old factory receptors in their nose, (people only have around six million). Our pets actually have a second old factory system called The Jacobson Organ. Nerves direct the chemical information (smell) to the brain with no interference of other odors. They can zoom in on specific scents!


 Basically our pets have super powers! Super sonic smelling... personally I would prefer to have the superpower of time travel.

Cats and dogs are not just saying hello. They are gathering more information than you can imagine about their new potential companion like gender, reproductive status, clues about the animals health diet and even emotional state.


This is pretty cool! Humans have words to convey how we are doing when we meet someone, yet our pets learn it all (and more) through a chemical scent.. not all animals want to share their information and they will sit when the sniffer approaches. I get that.

This information gathering behavior shows itself in a different way for dogs as they seem to sniff people crotches. Whether you are the dog's owner or the person greeting the dog and it’s owner, it's a pretty uncomfortable situation. It seems to sit better for me in understanding that the dog is merely just trying to get the full scoop about me.


It actually turns out dogs can get our sent from a few feet away. They don't need to be up close and personal to see if we're the kind of person they'd like to get to know. This brings us to how to correct this behavior. The most important thing and correcting any behavior is to supervise and be consistent.

We have found found the Palm Method to be helpful. When the dog approaches you, hold your hand out ( away from your crotch) sideways. when the dog touches your palm with its nose, give it a treat.  Make sure you have friends practice this new technique as well.

Hopefully now you understand that our pets are just gathering information about you and it won’t be as annoying when they sniff!