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Why does my dog sniff at me?

Why does my dog sniff at me?

If your dog sniffs you a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my dog sniff at me? Possible reasons why your dog sniffs you a lot are that it wants to know where you have been, you have an unusual scent on you, to gather information about you or because it likes the way you smell.

Since there are a number of possible reasons why your dog might have been sniffing you a lot, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become easier to get it to stop.

Why your dog sniffs at you

Below are a number of reasons why your dog might be sniffing you a lot and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

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).

To find out where you have been

By sniffing you, it 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. This would be more likely if it does it when you arrive home.

You have an unusual scent on you

The cause might also be that you have an unusual scent on you. 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.

It likes the way you smell

The cause could also be that your scent causes it to feel more secure. This would be more likely if it tends to sniff you more in situations such as when it is sitting or lying down with you.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog always sniffed at you

If your dog did not always sniff you a lot, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event might have occurred that caused it to start.

For example, if it started doing it when you first started working a new job, that involves interacting with lots of different people, it could be the case that your dog has been picking up on their scents on you.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider what else is different when your dog sniffs you. If it tends to sniff you more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it sniffs you after cooking food, it would be likely that it smells the smell of the food on you. Whereas, if it tends to sniff you when you arrive home, it would be more likely that it is trying to smell where you have been and that you have an unusual smell on you.

What to do about your dog sniffing at you

Below are some things you can do in order to encourage your dog to stop sniffing you as often.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It might be the case that you have encouraged it to sniff you 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 you.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to stop sniffing you as much you could reward it whenever it is not sniffing you, stop rewarding it when it starts sniffing and reward it again after it stops sniffing.