why do dogs sniff butts to say hello?

why don't they bark insted?

Asked by Member 550661 on Dec 26th 2007 Tagged bark, sniffing in Barking
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Actually, dogs don't "sniff butts to say hello".

Dogs communicate mainly by use of body language, and they go through quite a ritual when meeting a new dog for the first time or greeting a dog that comes back to the pack.

They go through a period of posturing toward each other where the subtle changes in how high a dog holds its head, how the ears and tail are positioned, etc. determine status and place. Then they sniff around each other's muzzles, sometimes licking, and then they usually go to check the private areas.

Smelling the other dogs' private area tells the dog a lot about the dog he is meeting, such as their gender and their sexual status.

Abby answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Brenda the Lion

I dont think they can actually have conversations like humans. As the previous poster said, most of the information they need comes from smell, posture, attitude and the least amount comes from vocal signs like barking.
Be glad they dont bark and yap to get to know each other, I think it would be a bit unbearable to go to the doggy park.
It is amazing how after sniffing and analyzing each other they can tell if it is ok to go and play.
If you see two dogs that know each other for a long time and/or live together you will see there is not much barking going on, unless they are playing or fighting for a toy.

I wish humans could tell as accurately who are they dealing with as dogs do, of course, without the obvious sniffing. LOL.

Brenda the Lion answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer