Butt sniffing is about communication. The same way we handshake and say hello, our dogs communicate and show respect via sniffing. The chemical aromas your dog emits can help other dogs determine its gender, overall mood, health, approx. age etc. When you see your dog start to sniff his new canine acquaintance’s butt don’t pull him away. This is actually good dog manners as your K-9 friend is wanting to find out more detailed information about this new dog (getting a bit more personal) and is doing so in a soothing and calming manner. Yes, butt sniffing is a stress reliever as well.
Each dog’s butt smell is unique, similar to our finger-prints, a doggy identification tool. Inside the butt are two small sacs called anal glands which secrete a noxious smelling substance into the rectum. Luckily enough we can’t smell it but your dog can and the aroma coming from each dog is unique. That’s how your dog can recognise if he has met this dog before. Along with identification it also reveals if a dog is friendly, aggressive, where he/she has been, what he’s eaten etc. An enormous amount of information can be ascertained through butt sniffing which doesn’t take very long at all. So next time your dog gets personal with another dog, let them enjoy the exchange of information and detailed communication process which is unfolding!
Check out the video below for a detailed explanation of the chemicals your dog is able to identify!