Tips for Bad Dog Behavior – Sniffing House Guests

Posted on May 14, 2015 under Dog Training and Behavior

Two dogs meet on a walk and sniff each other to greet one another

By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Dogs don’t come with owner’s manuals. Sometimes they have awkward behaviors that are acceptable in the dog world, but not so much in the human world. Let’s discuss dogs’ awkward crotch sniff greeting of humans, in particular when they come to your house.

Problem – Crotch Sniffing Your House Guests. You greet your visitors with handshakes or hugs. In the canine kingdom, one dog “greets” another by sticking her nose in the back end of the other dog and sniffing. The canine nose detects details about the other dog, including his age, health condition, what he recently ate, and even his mood. That is why dogs also try to do this when they meet a person.

Solution. Teach your dog to greet two-legged guests in a less-embarrassing manner by reinforcing her compliance when told to “sit” and “stay.” Then place a small treat in your hand just below your dog’s nose and encourage her to paw at the treat. Couple this with “good shake” so your dog learns that sniffing a house guest does not yield him with treats. But when he sits politely and raises a paw to shake to greet then he gets one.

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