Why Does My Dog Sniff My Crotch?

By Allegra Ringo

It's a classic scenario: You're doing something cool, like washing your car in a sexy way. Suddenly, your crush walks by. Everything is going great. But then it happens. Your dog runs up and sticks her nose in your crotch. Or worse, your crush's crotch.

Why, why, why would your dog do this to you?

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Believe it or not, your dog isn't trying to embarrass you. They're simply on a lifelong quest for information, and they're gathering this information mostly by smell.

A dog's sense of smell makes our human sense of smell look like a pathetic joke. Dogs have approximately 220 million sensors in their noses, compared to 5 million in humans. They also have a special organ called the Jacobson's organ, a specialized patch of sensory cells in their main nasal chamber that detects moisture-born odor particles. In a word, dogs are born to smell.

Dogs use their excellent noses as their primary method of gathering information about the world, and they can smell things we can't pick up on (at least, not on a conscious level). Namely, pheromones. Pheromones are a chemical substance that humans and other animals release into the air. Pheromones are the reason why dogs sniff other dogs' butts: They're gathering information on the other dog's age, sex, emotional state, and more.

Pheromones are the reason why dogs sniff our crotches (and our butts, too). They might also be the reason your dog steals your underwear. We have higher concentrations of pheromones in our genital and anal areas than any other part of our body, which makes them rich sources of information for our canine friends. You may also notice that your dog gets extra sniffy when you've just had sex, or when you're on your period. That's because we emit more pheromones during sex as well as during menstruation. There's even some evidence that dogs can detect ovulation, and they can also sniff out ovarian cancer.

Don't worry, there are ways to train your dog to stop sniffing crotches. But if your dog does sniff your crotch, your crush's crotch, or even your enemy's crotch, don't be embarrassed. Just politely inform the person that your dog isn't being rude, she's gathering information.

Are you interested in learning more about what you're reading? Then scroll through this article about what it means when your pet doesn't remember you. Also, like us on Facebook and join our newsletter to learn more about your pet's behavior.