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A bum sniff is common when dogs greet one another. In fact, we often refer to the reciprocal butt sniff as a doggy hand-shake. The information one dog finds under another dog’s tail is remarkable.

If the dogs have met before, they’ll recognize each other properly.  They can also detect gender, age, health and even the other dog’s mood.

Dog’s experience the world with their sense of smell and in previous blogs we’ve explained that their capacity to do this. Science has proven a dog can detect the equivalent of a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic size a swimming pool.  They use this amazing ability to find food, find a mate, locate their wandering young and to avoid danger such as predators.

As well as the special design of their noses, the scent organ your dog uses is called the Jacobsen organ. Humans do not have one of these and living around dog’s that might be a good thing. Using this organ, a dog can track pheromones or chemicals other animals have released, even smelling separately with their nostrils if required.  You may see them biting at the air which is the way they capture odour molecules in the air. Early in their life pup’s begin using this powerful faculty to seek their mother while they are suckling and to find their littermates.

Dog poop is a bit like a calling card and that is why your dog finds it so interesting to investigate. The anal glands have left some unique information on that nugget. A dog will sometimes spread their scent by wiping their feet on the grass.

Engaging in nosework as an activity is extremely fulfilling for a dog, giving them a mental challenge and can even reducing stress. Why? Simply because they were born to do it.  It’s no surprise really that they want to sniff anything and everything. Please try to factor in some sniffing for your dog whilst on a walk.  If there’s another dog around and you believe it’s safe, loosen the lead to allow them to relax while they collect multiple butt data. 

Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)