If your dog often smells you, when you arrive home, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you four common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
Your dog could actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reasons and there are many things you can do about them.
Reasons why your dog smells you when you come home
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
To find out where you have been
By smelling you, your dog can find out things such as what other animals you have been around. The reason why it does it might also be because it wants to know where you have been and what other animals you have been around. This would be especially likely if it tends to do it when you have interacted with other animals or been somewhere new.
To gather information
The most likely reason why it sniffs things a lot is that it has a strong sense of smell and sniffing things allows it to gather information about the thing it’s sniffing.
For example, the urine of other dogs will tell it where it has been, its health status and what it has been eating, this is the case for humans too. They can even pick up on the ovulation of humans which is why they will sniff females more during certain parts of the month (source).
You have a strong smell on you
The cause could be that you have a particular strong smell on you. This would be more likely if it tends to smell you more when you have been somewhere particularly smelly.
You smell different
Another possible cause is that you smell different to how you normally smell. This would be more likely if it tends to sniff you more at specific times such as when you come back from a location that has weird smells or a lot of people such as a bar or restaurant.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always smell you as much, when you arrived home, in the past it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as you going to new locations or it might have started doing it naturally to find out where you have been.
What is different when it does not do it
If your dog does not always smell you, when you arrive home, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it only does it when you have touched or been very close to someone else it could be doing it because you have a strong and unusual smell on you.
What to do about it
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging it
It might be the case that you have encouraged it to sniff you, when you arrive home, by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it sniffs you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to redirect its focus onto something else, to avoid rewarding it with extra attention and to give it attention when it does not sniff your hands.
Redirect its focus
Another thing you could do would be to redirect its focus onto something else when it seems likely to start sniffing your hands. Things to redirect its focus towards could include a bone or toys.
Allow it to do it
It is natural for dogs to sniff people, when they arrive home, momentarily because it allows dogs to gather information about the person. It would also be an option to allow your dog to continue to do it for a few moments when you first see it when coming home since it is natural for it to want to smell you.
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