Why Do Dogs Only Sniff at Certain People

By May 24 | See Comments

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Why Do Dogs Only Sniff at Certain People
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Dogs use their sense of smell to get acquainted with people and explore the world around them. Their sense of smell is so strong that they can identify the presence of just a small teaspoon of sugar in gallons of water! What confuses most pet owners is the basis on which dogs decide what to or what not to sniff. We explore what could be behind it.

What do my dog’s sniffing habits mean?

Have you noticed how your dog likes to sniff just some guests who visit home, while ignoring other guests at the door? Or, sniff at strangers by the road who seems disinterested, while not giving the slightest glance to others who stop by to pet him? Well, there is no formula that explains how this works, however, animal behavior experts do have a few guesses.Dogs naturally gravitate toward smells that they like; it could be anything from the scent of the dog park or other pets that they are sniffing out. If they don’t go up to certain people to sniff them, then they probably don’t find the scent as interesting. It is as simple as that. Dogs may also tend to find objects that belong to their owners in their absence, due to the scent that it emanates. Dogs associate this with positive emotions. In fact, MRI scans have shown that dogs show a positive response when a scent that belongs to someone whom they are familiar with is presented. So if your friend’s dog comes forward to take a sniff every time you visit their house, it is probably because he is glad to see you. There is also some speculation on how dogs go up to people to take a sniff if they smell fear. It is likely that the person has a different scent, as he/she sweats out of fear that draws the dog’s attention.

What to do if my dog always has his nose at work?

You want to give your dog the freedom to explore different scents around the house and outdoors alike. However, it can get a little embarrassing if your dog goes up to smell the crotch of a random stranger or guest visiting home. If your dog has already been trained, it should be easy to make him stop on such occasions through a simple command. If he persists, then you want to try distracting him with a toy or

treats

. Ideally, you want to train your pet to sniff at the hand to get acquainted with people. Be sure to reward your pet once he picks up the habit to reinforce it in a positive manner.

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