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What is My Dog Telling Me When He Sniffs My Butt #LetsTalkBums

Disclosure: I am bringing this post to you through my partnership with Cottonelle, their new Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths, and sharing the news about their #LetsTalkBums campaign.”

dog nose, close up of dog nose

I take public transportation to and from work and on occasion someone will board the train who is smelly – smelly feet, smelly pits, too much perfume, or just all around BO.  Whenever this happens, I scrunch up my face (nope, don’t have a poker face), wonder who the offender is, and then immediately wonder “is it me?”  Because of smelly people, I no longer wear perfume, I’m vigilant about showers, and I have foot powder at my desk.  Overkill?  Probably.

What is my dog trying to tell me when he sniffs my butt?

If you’re reading this, then you probably have a dog or have at least noticed that part of the dog to dog greeting is a butt sniff.  It’s something that I don’t even respond to except to tell Sydney “good girl” when she goes in for a sniff; she’s a bit shy around other dogs.  Although I know dogs take the time to sniff each other’s butts, whenever our dogs sniff my butt, I get a little defensive.

Dogs are not humans.

I know this!  We read it every single day.  Yeah yeah, that’s not my dog’s guilty face.  But I’m working with 42+ years of learned behavior and when my dogs sniff my rear, I get a little defensive.  Hey! I showered!

We know that dogs sniff each other’s butts, because there’s a story going on back there.  It’s our way of checking out someone’s Facebook profile – Who are you? Where have you been? Did you have a steak for lunch?  What’s up?  Is it really surprising that dogs sniff their human’s butt to figure out the same thing?  I did some reading and found that a gentle sniff is just our dogs’ way of signifying that we’re part of the pack.  It’s not their way of saying “wow, did you even turn on the water?”

But even knowing this, I still get a little sensitive and I’m tempted to run back upstairs to do some personal housekeeping just in case our dogs are picking up something that I may have missed.  Yes, a little TMI, but we live with dogs who lick their butts and we pick up poop daily – are you really offended?

When our dogs (keep in mind that we have three) come at my rear (or elsewhere) for a sniff, I just gentle push them away and step back.  I’m thankful for the welcoming, I know I’m part of the pack, but my privates are just that, private.  And at least it’s the dogs and not the cats.  I happen to know that if our cat starts scratching around me, trying to bury me, then I must smell like the litter box.

Does your dog sniff your butt?  Does it freak you out sometimes?


  1. Beamer is too short at this time to reach up that far but if you’re down far enough he can. It was something I expected. But at the dog park this weekend one GSD pup, Beamer’s age of 5 months, immediately took a walk between my legs and later while I was distracted gave me a healthy nose nudge in the back side. I moved and tried not to draw attention so his dad wouldn’t say something and embarrass both of us.

    • LOL – love the visuals, Julie :)

  2. This was such a creative post! I love how you turned it into this :)

    Leroy is my butt sniffer and yes it drives me crazy! He doesn’t do it all the time but when he does he gets very nosy about it!

    • Ahhhh, thanks. I tell myself that I should be happy that my dogs aren’t mounting me. My boyfriend wasn’t too happy about this post – but he’s tall enough to avoid the butt sniff so I don’t know why he’s bothered. LOL

  3. This is such a funny post! But it’s so true – when dogs smell each others butts, it’s sort of like that example you described of smelling someone from across the room. Do you think the dog greeting goes in the same vein of smelling a spot another dog peed on? They’re both about “sizing up” other pooches out there, right?


    • So true, Christine :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. We tend to enjoy going up to strangers and sniffing the crotch area. It’s not like we smell anything great, but we love to watch Mom turn red and have a fit! I think the human reaction is what we are after!

    • That makes sense! LOL

  5. Finally, I get what my neighbours dog (With which i’m very close with) means when she sniffs my butt. LOL

    • LOL

  6. Haha! So gross and so true. Thankfully Ace is not much of a butt or crotch sniffer. It’s just so embarrassing when a dog sniffs a guest inappropriately, right? I’ve met plenty of other dogs who try to smell me and, as you said, I tend to just gently push the dog away.


    • Lucky lady. We don’t get much company, but when we do (usually deputies) they are treated with a punch to the groin (we have jumpers) and then a sniff. I bet they love that.

  7. My German Shepherd, Duke, sniffs my mothers rear end all day. Every time she takes a poop, every time she has a shower. It’s become almost routine. Strangely enough, however, he doesn’t do it to either myself, of my younger sister.

    On a side note: He does do it to our cat. Go figure.

    • So funny. Currently, the resident butt sniffer is Scout. He has no sense of personal space with me. LOL

      • Ahhaha. How long has Scout been doing it for? Duke has only been doing it for the last 2 months (he’s just turned 8 months old). Also, I hear you with regards to personal space. My mother sleeps earlier than I do, and I always hear her wake up due to him sniffing up there while she’s sleeping. 😉

        • He’s been doing it for a while now. He doesn’t do it as often as he used to, but sometimes I feel a nose on my butt and I know it’s Scout. At least I have pants on :)


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