Honest Truth About Why Dogs Sniff Crotches and Steal Underwear
Look, it's always uncomfortable anytime a dog points its snoot toward your crotch and takes a whiff.
That is, it's only uncomfortable for YOU according to animal experts.
Why Dogs Tend To Sniff Crotches
According to a report from Reader's Digest, it's just a dog being a dog. More specifically, it's a dog trying to use its nose to better understand the surrounding environment.
"Simply put, it's the most accessible location for a dog," Reader's Digest says. "They detect pheromones, which are chemical signals produced by apocrine (sweat) glands located primarily in the groin and armpits or humans."
Dogs use what is called "Jacobson's organ" located in the roof of their mouth to gather information from humans including mood, health issues, sex and even age in some cases. Reader's Digest explains the organ as having ducts that connect to the nose and mouth creating a greater sense of sniffing.
"Dogs have up to 300 million scent sensors in their noses, compared to humans, who only have 6 million," the American Kennel Club says on its website.
Best Ways To Stop A Dog From Sniffing Crotches
While your dog may be acting according to its natural instincts, it still might be uncomfortable being the owners whose guests get an unexpected crotch sniffing upon arriving to your home.
The American Kennel Club suggests trying to turn the dogs attention to something else before its nose is directed between someone's legs. Something as quick and simple as a hand or fist can give the dog everything it needs to understand its surroundings.
"With a fist, the dog can still gather information on the new human without getting up close and very personal," the American Kennel Club explains on its website. "You can also train your dog to sit when someone new enters the house."
Why Your Dog Is Stealing Your Dirty Underwear
A dog's curiosity when it comes to scents can bring out some of their worst behavior when they are surrounded by dirty laundry, especially underwear.
The American Kennel Club says the dog is trying to better understand its owner through the scent left behind on the fabric, much like how they explore through crotch sniffing.
There's also a good reason your dog may chew or lick the underwear. The club reports dogs tend to use these methods to release more smell from the garment.
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