sniffing is a "highly aggressive" move!??

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

(Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  

helloooo....! - i\'m TALKING to- you!!!!!
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 1:39pm PST 
help me out, here:

today at the park, we encountered another dog - great pyrenees/samoyed/standard poodle mix - glorious. anyway, this dog dragged his owners (both of them) into the park in spite of the full-face muzzle he's required to wear and the halti that was under it. his owners know me from around the neighourhood and we were chatting. i noticed that dandy was *very* still and contained - didn't resist introduction but i didn't feel comfortable pressing the issue so i didn't. after a while, the dogs relaxed and dandy went to do his usual shtick.

he has a sniffing routine. with humans, he starts at the feet, then progresses to the crotch (often to an embarrassing degree), then the bellybutton, the armpits, the neck, and then finishes at the ears.

with dogs, it's butt, girl/boy bits, and then ears.

normally it's a light whiffwhiffwhiff (you know what i mean) but occasionally he'll get his nose right on in there and inhale deeply then exhale sharply - a snuffsnuffsnuffCHUFF thing and he might even lick intensely. when that happens, i advise the other person it looks like there's an infection picking up and to get it checked (where i've been able to confirm, he's batting 100%).

this person, however, took deep offense - called it a "highly aggressive" move: the feet is because wolves hamstring their prey; the crotch/bellybutton is because they gut them; the neck because he's going for the carotid; and the ears because those are the first things dogs go for in a fight.

has anybody ever heard the like?!? my dog isn't the one ordered to wear a muzzle while out in public and my dog wasn't the one growling and raising hackles but my dog is the "highly aggressive" one!??

can anyone clarify, pls? i think she's blowing smoke out her butt but naturally googling "aggressive dog sniff ears" was useless and it's in none of my books barring comments that dogs are very sensitive to detecting the smell of sickness and infection.
Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 2:03pm PST 
I would go with he is ill informed or he is blowing smoke up your butt. Dogs are not mini wolves and they are not looking to gut you, they are sniffing to learn about the person or dog. Dogs sniff crotches and butts because there is a lot of scent consintrated in those areas. Also, most dogs are only tall enough to reach a butt or crotch to sniff. It all comes down to instinct though.

Dogs greet each other by sniffing butts and groins because dogs have scent glans called anal sacs that hold a dogs special scent so they sniff there first when greeting a new dog (usually... A face to face/nose to nose sniff in a dog world can be considered rude.) Dogs noses are very sensetive so maybe your pup did sniff out an infection of some sort yet again? I have heard dogs sniffing and licking to pick up the scent better, wetting it enhances some scents I think? I am sure another more knowledgable dogster will chime in.

Edited by author Sun Jul 3, '11 2:20pm PST


Only my cover is- scary. Read my- book.
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 4:11pm PST 
Did he have all his teeth and was he wearing a mustard stained wife beater with his gut edging it out? It would help to have all the facts before judgement is applied (hehe).


Super Friendly- Aviator
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 4:51pm PST 
Well... that's a new one! thinking

Before getting Ava I used to be among the crowd who thought all dogs are secretly trying to dominate the human race, and even heard a wagging tail is a sign of aggression if it wags slightly more to the left than the right (has anyone else heard that? There was some group who did a study about "the different ways a dog wags its tail and what it means" a while back. That's all I can remember.)

But I've never, ever heard anything about sniffing being a sign of aggression! Wonder who told him that? laugh out loud

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 5:33pm PST 
Where did they get that load of crap? Sniffing is a normal dog behavior. It's the canine equililent of a handshake.

Niether dogs or wolves sniff their prey, they chase it down and kill it.

The article below has more info. While your dogs behavior is normal (sniffing butts and genitals), he's a bit to invasive which is considered rude. Instead of a 'handshake', he doing a full body pat down on the other dog.

Why dogs sniff butt...

dog walkdog walkdog walk

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 6:25pm PST 
shrug What rock did those fools crawl out from under????eek
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 7:41pm PST 
Wait, you tell people they've got an infection because your dog is sniffing and licking their crotch?


Anyway...what are wolves doing when they sniff other's butts...trying to disembowel them? Why are wolves always seemingly trying to kill and take over the world to people?

Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 7:49pm PST 
Umm, Sanka.. I THINK (hope) she means their dogs.. laugh out loud

As for "sniffing - highly aggressive". Peoples are crazy. 'Nuff said laugh out loud

Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 8:00pm PST 
I thought the OP meant the person's crotch. relieved

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Sun Jul 3, '11 8:12pm PST 
Sanka, I totally thought the OP meant the person's crotch too! That just made me laugh so hard!

Seriously though, the idea that sniffing is a prelude to an attack is completely ridiculous.
  (Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3