Archives for the day Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Why do dogs love the walk? Why dogs sniff each other’s butt to greet?

 In the previous entry titled “Walking your dogs“, I wrote about how excited our dog, “Palette” becomes when she hears the command “Go get leash” .I think it is because she then knows we will go for walk.

 For human, to some people, it may not as exciting event of the day as Palette thinks. To be honest, if I did not have Palette, I probably not going for walk as much as I do now.

 So, why dogs love to go for walk? What is the walk to them?

 I think walking to them is fun way to get physical exercise. Dogs love to run and if you jog with your dogs,then jogging with you maybe fun thing happening on their walk. Or, if you were like Palette and I; if walk had some sort of game (we step aside and stay when we see cars coming toward us, then stay still until it passes us and continue walking after cars passed), it maybe make the walk more exciting. Or maybe, anything they get to do with you make the thing so exciting event of the day. They love to spend with us whether you are with them on walk, or training them, or simply petting them.. Spending time together make your bond with your dog stronger.

 Other than exercise, if dogs get outside the house, they can explore tonz of interesting smell on the ground, or up in the air, and not every single day has same exact smell,which makes dogs so exciting to sniff out the smell they get. This can explain why dogs seems get excited sniffing out the smell even if you take the same route. Sniffing the smell on the ground or up in the air is just like we read newspaper, checking out daily news if you will.

 Dogs sniff out ground and try to collect doggy daily news on the ground but at the same time, they are checking their own daily news spot and check when,who passed the area. They can get so much information from pee-mail or poo-mail from who,when,the specific dog’s health, mood and if the mail were from female dogs,then,if the dog is in heat or not.

 And, not just smell, they get to hear tonz of different sound everyday. They may meet new people or new dogs that are on walk and, they may get to greet each other,which again, very exciting event on the walk. If you tend to meet the same dogs with same people on your walk, and if the dog happened to be one of your dogs favorite friends, then,it is understandable they get so excited to go for walk hoping to meet the favorite friends. Palette has favorite friends. He is a small miniature Schnauzer, and Palette goes ear flatten back, butt wagging so fast.. I can tell she is so excited to meet him. They are good friends.All of these, different experiences in different scenarios, are beneficial to dogs and great event for a change after some hours spent inside the house.

 So, walk is fun event for dogs.

 Now, I wrote meeting new dogs and become friends with them is fun thing that could happen on their walk, but have you ever wondered why dogs sniff each other’s butt to greet? To make it more strange, why do they sniff each other’s butt even though one dog has met the specific dog before?

 With palette, she tend to greet new dogs nose to nose first, and then let them sniff her butt or she sniff other dogs’ butt. That is how greeting ceremony goes for Palette. Some dogs come and go straight to her butt but she does not like it.

 As I wrote in previous entry titled ‘Dog’s nose; How good is it“, dog’s nose is amazingly good. They smell what our nose cannot smell.

 They sniff to gather information about everything. The stronger the odor is, the more interesting and more information to be collected for dogs who love to gather information. Strongest odor could be from anal glands. Where it is located? Answer; butt. So, dog sniff each other butt to collect information each other;exchanging their canine version of business cards if you will. I do not think there are exact same odor coming from other dog’s anal glands.

 According to, when dogs sniff,sniff, they can gather lots of information from odor left behind. Author and professor Marc Bekoff explain also that when his late dog ‘Jethro” went in to the vet’s office’s exam room,where there was a dog showed fear, Jethro showed fear too. He writes, fear can convey through odor from anal glands. I think if dogs can convey emotion through odor from one dog to the other, it is understandable dogs can sense your emotion as well: whether you are happy? frustrated? frightened? sad? in pain?

 When I met roaming dogs on walk, since I am not sure of other dog’s temperament, I got scared. I could tell she got scared too and she peed from fear.

 When I got hurt, she sensed emergency or pain, barked non stop until my husband comes to my side to tend and what do you think she did? She picked up her favorite Halloween ghost squeaky toy, dropped it near me as if she gave it to me to comfort.

 When I went under surgery, Palette who is jumpy and loves to nagged to get my attention for tummy rub was very quiet, spent time right next to my bed. She started more jumpy as I get better. I think she could sense my emotions.

 When someone in the family get frustrated, Palette excuse herself from the room. She could sensed the frustration too,I think

 Have you had any experiences like that which make you wonder whether your dogs sense your emotions?

 Anyway, this professor Marc did interesting experiment as well using snow. When dogs pee, snow becomes yellow, which makes human easy to spot pee-mail. Professor Marc scooped up yellow snow every time dog pee. Then compared whether his late dog Jethro sniff more on his own or other dogs. Result? He sniffed more intensely for other dogs rather than his own. He peed over right away over pee-mail sent by other males rather than by female dogs. Other researchers noted that male dogs spend more time to read pee-mail and more intense reading for yellow snow made by female dogs in heat.
You can read full article here.

 As side note,according to, there are other interesting greeting method of other animals.

 Did you know that when elephant meet each other,they touch each other’s mouth with tip of trunk? Sometimes,they grasp each other’s trunk as if hand shaking like human.

 Did you know that when Orca’s pack meet to greet,they line up and stop to 20 meters away, and swim towards each other? (Read more on here)

 I do not know why dogs sniff each other’s butt even if they have sniffed each other before. Possibly they love to get updated information on each other?

 What are your theories on why dogs love walking? Why dogs sniff each other’s butt? Why dogs sniff each other butt even if they have met before??

 Let us know what you think.

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Dec 15, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized