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Dogs come with their fair share of weird behaviors that can leave you scratching your head. Yet, probably your dog’s most bizarre habit is sniffing at your private areas—talk about maximum discomfort!

“Why do dogs smell my crotch?” we can see you typing into the search engine for answers.

Well, there are many possible reasons for this behavior, the most common one is that dogs do it to get to know their human friends better by smelling their sweat. But how so?

woman holding her crotch

Is It Normal for Dogs to Sniff Your Crotch?

By human standards, it might come off as embarrassing, but a dog smelling your crotch is completely normal in the canine world.

Dogs already sniff other dogs’ bottoms to greet them and get to know them better, so it makes sense that they’ll do it from time to time with their human owners.

Remember that dogs have a heightened sense of smell, so they always try to make use of this gift to understand their surroundings. But why are they particularly interested in your crotch and nowhere else?

The answer lies in the existence of apocrine glands in that area, which release sweat loaded with pheromones. Although it hasn’t been proven yet with research, scholars believe that dogs smell those pheromones to identify information regarding their owner’s mood, sex, and mating probability.

Hopefully, with further research in the future, scientists will come to understand the exact types of data that dogs glean from smelling a human body’s odor.

Why Do Dogs Sniff a Human Female Crotch?

Dogs sniff a human female crotch for the same reasons that they smell anybody’s crotch! Since the genital area—along with the armpits—has a high concentration of sweat glands, it’s especially curious for a dog’s sense of smell.

Even though we’re still waiting for solid research to confirm this, scientists believe that dogs can know whether or not a female has recently had intercourse or even given birth by smelling her genitals.

human and dog

Why Do Dogs Sniff Your Crotch When You’re on Your Period?

It might seem strange that your dog would choose a specific time like your period to sniff the area around your vagina. Well, there’s a possibility that dogs smell the difference in your body chemicals when you’re menstruating. This change in your pheromones piques the dog’s curiosity, leading them to smell your private parts to confirm the change.

Furthermore, you might even come across your pup smelling discarded underwear for the same reason! Or if your dog has pica, they may even eat the underwear.

While the eating isn’t normal behavior, the smell it absolutely a natural behavior from your canine companion. They just want to make sure you’re okay and understand why you smell so different all of a sudden.

How Do Dogs Act When They Smell Illness?

Dogs can smell if there’s something wrong with their humans, and not just by smelling their crotches. For example, a diabetic alert dog can tell whether or not a person has diabetes from the scent of their breath.

In addition, a few tests have shown that dogs are able to sense several types of cancer by simply sniffing at a patient’s urine or breath.

Now, how do dogs start acting if they sense you’re sick?

Of course, it all depends on your dog’s personality, but their response to illness is usually comforting in one way or another. For instance, some dogs will get closer to their owners’ beds and lie down next to them to let them know that they’re there.

Other furry friends will lay their heads on their human parents’ legs or tummies for a much-needed physical touch.

Some dogs will start acting strangely at first; unable to identify what’s wrong with you. They’ll tilt their heads in confusion, smell different parts of your body, drool excessively, or even whine.

Sometimes, a dog will lick a certain part of your body over and over.

In any of these cases, it’s a wise idea to see the doctor as soon as possible, as there might be an underlying health condition that only a dog can sense at this point.

Can Dogs Tell if You’re Pregnant?

Dogs can likely tell if you’re pregnant. This is because your body goes through a whirlwind of hormonal changes during the different stages of pregnancy, and these shifts will probably not escape a dog’s nose.

Of course, there’s no telling how early a dog may detect pregnancy. It may vary between different dog breeds.

Also, take note that a dog won’t be able to understand that you’re pregnant, even if they smell it. They’ll just sense that there’s something unusual about your body chemicals, and they might start acting accordingly.

For example, some pooches will be more protective of a pregnant woman all of a sudden, while others will display more affection for her than other family members. More interestingly, some dogs may not care at all!

How to Prevent Your Dog From Smelling the Crotches of Your Guests?

Despite being normal in the world of dogs, not all of your guests will appreciate having your dog smelling their balls! So, is there something you can do to get rid of this behavior or at least control it? Yes!

Here’s what we suggest you do to keep your dog from sniffing your guests’ crotches:

Option 1: Train Your Dog to Smell Palms or Fists Instead

First, you can ask your visitors to present their palms to your dog as a way of greeting. This way, your pup will get busy sniffing them instead of their private areas!

Sure, having your dog respond as you wish won’t come overnight; it requires plenty of training with you and others in your household until you get this far.

Make sure to give your pup treats and praise words when they do what you want, and you should be on the correct path.

And if they do sniff at the crouch, don’t rebuke them, just redirect them to the hand or to another activity.

Option 2: Train Your Dog to Remain in Place When Guests Arrive at Your House

a dog smelling

If you know that your dog has a habit of smelling crotches, you can try training him to sit in place whenever someone visits you. Alternatively, you can train your pup to stay on a certain mat or even their dog bed when someone comes over.

Again, this requires patience, persistence, and practice!

It’s important to let your guests know to ignore your dog while they’re spending time on their mat. If guests speak to them, they might be compelled to greet them, which will result in a crotch-sniffing session!

Option 3: Distract Your Dog

If the situation gets out of hand, the best way to save the day is to distract your pup by using a favorite treat. Hold it in your hand, let your dog sniff it, and allow them to hold your gaze for as long as possible without giving them the treat.

After a while, you can feed the treat, and the desire to greet your guests will have passed.

Final Words

It can be hard to understand why dogs smell crotches for first-time owners. Now that you’ve read our article, you know it’s not something to worry about and is a natural behavior, albeit an embarrassing one.

Dogs sniff crotches as a greeting and a way to get as much information as possible about their human parents’ bodies. While that’s not exactly a bad thing, you can train your dog not to do it so as not to make your guests uncomfortable.

You might also like to read our post, Clicker Training: Lay Down Command