Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Do Dogs Like to Sniff Crotches? 5 Reasons for This Behavior

Dog nose

There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as a dog running up and shoving its nose directly into your downstairs. Maybe it’s their way of greeting, but it feels downright invasive. Have you ever wondered what the real reason dogs do this is?

Of course, they have a terrific sense of smell. But it’s making you a little self-conscious, wondering what aromas they’re picking up—here are five reasons dogs take a deep whiff of your goods.

divider-dogDogs Have an Amazing Sense of Smell

Dogs trump us hand over fist in the smell department. A canine can pick up scent like a real champ. Scientists guess that a dog’s sense of smell is roughly 10,000 to 100,000 times better than a human. For every scent receptor we have, dogs have 50—if that tells you anything.

Ultimately, dogs have a sense of smell that is 40 times greater than ours. So, when dogs start sniffing down yonder, here’s what they’re doing.

Puppy close up nose
Image Credit: Pixabay

The 5 Reasons Why Dogs Sniff Crotches

1. Seeking Information

Taking a deep breath near the downstairs can tell your dog a lot about you—and others around you. Thanks to chemical compounds made by our bodies, our smell can tell a dog our age, gender, mood, and more.

You might notice that your dog is more doting on days when you’re feeling a little blue. It’s no coincidence. Your dog can even tell if you’re unhappy—or if you’re sick. So, consider your root chakra a communication house between you and your canine.


2. Olfactory Detection

It’s normal for your dog to gravitate towards your crotch region because of all the signals your body is giving off. They will naturally sniff the areas that have a lot of information.

Did you know that dogs have such a superb sense of smell they can even detect some cancers? For women, dogs can even sniff out ovarian cancer.

So, if this is a new habit and you have recently started displaying other questionable symptoms, you might want to make an appointment with your gynecologist. But try not to let that scare you if you have no reason to suspect that you’re suffering from this kind of illness.

Dog waking up human
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

3. Greeting Company

The inhalation of private parts can be a big hello from your dog. Since this is the way they meet each other, it isn’t a far stretch to think this behavior also extends toward their human friends—both new and old.

Really what this says is, “Hello, I’d like to get to know you.” Is this the most mannerly way to request an in-depth relationship with a person? Probably not for you, but for them—it’s another story.


4. Natural Instincts

Crotch sniffing is almost second nature to most canines. They sniff each other—and every other species they encounter. Not only can your dog sniff crotches, but they use this to uncover information about anything they encounter.

Think about it. What’s the first thing you let your dog do when they are around or come in contact with something new? You let them sniff it out, of course. This is how they familiarize themselves with the unknown—and it’s perfectly okay.

Dog licking woman's ear
Image Credit: Lubo Ivanko, Shutterstock

5. Picking Up on Pheromones

Even though we don’t pick up on each other’s pheromones from sniffing—that doesn’t mean we don’t emit a ton of them. We have what is called apocrine glands that excrete all sorts of pheromones.

Plus, your dog can tell if you’re getting ready to menstruate or if you’ve just had sexual intercourse. Your dog can even tell that you recently had a baby just from a simple hormone detection. You might be able to fool the household—but there’s no sneaking it past your dog.

Preventing Crotch Sniffing

Ultimately, if the sniffing is causing more hardship than good, you can channel this behavior. Here are a few tips.

  • Tell your company at home to offer your dog their hand first. This way, they will be distracted and not aim straight for the goodies.
  • Tech your dog to sit on command. We all know dogs are food-driven—use this to your advantage, teach your dog to sit down on command and create a strong history of big rewards associated to this behavior. Then you can use this command in scenarios or situations when you can predict the undesired behavior. The dog should respond by sitting before even thinking to start to sniff.
  • Teach a one-word command for resistance. Teach your dog to obey a simple, one-word response like “enough” or a standard “no” would even suffice.

Related Read: Why do dogs sniff butts? 6 Reasons for This Behavior

divider-dogFinal Thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s all about information. Your dog uses their heightened sense of smell to gather knowledge about their surroundings. Consider it fair, since we have many capabilities our canine friends don’t possess.

But if a nose up the middle isn’t how you want your furry buddy to say hello, you can prevent the behavior with proper training.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets
Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts  exclusive content, insider pricing, care guides, sale alerts & more…
Sign up for our Doggie Club!

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts Get alerts