Why do dogs sniff each other's butts? Many a dog parent feels mortified when their pooch shoves their nose into another dog's derriere. But rest assured that this is completely normal behavior!
What your dog is doing is essentially reading up a 'profile' of who the other dog is: gender, whether they are fertile and ready to reproduce, how happy they are, and even very specific things such as how healthy they are and what they had for lunch!
On either side of the butt is an anal gland that holds all of this very important information. This is also the same for cats and other animals, such as skunks, but dogs are famous for greeting each other with a friendly bum sniff.
For them, it's almost like a handshake, being polite and full of important information. As each scent is unique to each individual dog, they can also know if they've met the dog, or any of its family members.
Even dogs who haven't seen each other in a while will remember the scent of the other dog! Another important part of butt-sniffing is manners and etiquette.
Since this is such an important part of canine society, most dogs will do it when they meet each other. An over-enthusiastic puppy might be rebuffed and put in its place, while a dominant animal will dictate how the meeting goes, keeping younger pups in check and teaching them how to be polite.
You can learn more about what kind of information dogs get from sniffing each other's butts in the video below:
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