Have you ever found yourself sniffing your dog, only to have him turn away or maybe even attack you?
Why Does My Dog Get Mad When I Sniff Him? It’s an odd occurrence that can happen to the best of us, but why does it happen?
Here are some reasons why your dog gets mad when you sniff him and how you can handle it if it happens again.
Why Does My Dog Hate Being Sniffed?
Dogs are just like us—they get embarrassed when someone smells them. (OK, maybe it’s not that deep.) We may think we’re smelling their heads or paws, but we could be up close and personal with more intimate areas they don’t want us to know about. So, if your dog gets a little feisty when you bend down to give him a good whiff, remember—he’s really just self-conscious!
A dog’s sense of smell is one of his most powerful senses. It is believed that dogs can smell somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans can. The part of a dog’s brain devoted to analyzing smells is actually 40 times larger than ours.
This means dogs use their sense of smell for everything, from identifying other animals in heat to sniffing out drugs and bombs at airports. To put things into perspective, imagine if our sense of smell was 40 times stronger than it is now.
You would be able to taste colors and identify people by their scents alone. If your nose was as sensitive as a dog’s nose, every time you walked past a person on the street, you would have an overwhelming urge to lick them! As amazing as dogs’ noses are, sometimes they aren’t so great either.
Do Dogs Like It When You Sniff Them?
Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, making them quite adept at picking up on odors. Despite these impressive sniffing skills, dogs may not appreciate having their noses rubbed, or scented objects waved under their noses.
As it turns out, there are several possible reasons why your pup might dislike being sniffed by you or other people.
Here are a few:
- Your dog doesn’t like how you smell: It’s important to remember that just because a scent appeals to us doesn’t mean our pets will find it appealing. For example, some owners think their pets enjoy smelling like themselves after rolling around in grass; however, if your dog has allergies and/or is prone to skin infections (like hot spots), then rolling around in grass could actually cause him discomfort and pain when he sniffs himself later on.
- Your dog doesn’t like being surprised: Dogs rely heavily on their senses to interpret what’s going on around them—especially since they can’t always read human body language as easily as we’d like. If your dog isn’t expecting to be sniffed, he may interpret it as an attack or threat and react accordingly.
- Your dog doesn’t like having his head held still: You’ve probably noticed that most dogs don’t seem to mind getting petted while sitting still, but they’re much less likely to tolerate petting while lying down or standing up. This aversion stems from a natural desire for self-preservation—if your dog were lying down with his head resting on something soft and then suddenly felt pressure against his face, he would naturally assume that something was about to land on top of him and try to move away before it did.
RELATED: Why Does My Dog Bite Water? [And How To Stop It]
What Does It Mean To A Dog When You Sniff Them?
It’s a little hard to say for sure, but dogs have a rich sensory life that we’re only just beginning to understand. The first thing to understand is that sniffing is not merely an olfactory experience—it encompasses all of your dog’s senses.
Just as you enjoy his scent, he enjoys yours—the fragrance of your shampoo and other scents you carry on your body are important information to him.
He also gets visual cues from how you position yourself in relation to him when you get close enough to sniff. He can hear what kind of mood you’re in based on how close or far away from him you stand, and he can feel your touch through vibrations in the air or even through physical contact with your hand.
So, when you reach out to smell him, it’s like reaching out to hug him; it feels good! That said, there may be times when your dog doesn’t want to be smelled. If he has recently rolled in something stinky (like a dead animal), has been fighting with another dog, or simply isn’t feeling well, chances are pretty good that smelling him will make him uncomfortable. In these cases, try waiting until things settle down before getting up close and personal with your doggy friend.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Hates You?
The signs of a dog disliking its owner can be difficult to determine, as dogs are masters at showing affection when they want something from you.
If your dog has stopped greeting you at the door and seems happier to see your co-workers than you, chances are he’s not feeling that much love for you.
And if there is one thing every dog knows how to do, it’s play coy. So, here are some other things to look out for:
Does your dog avoid eye contact with you? Do you feel like he’s always mad at you? Are his ears constantly perked up or flattened against his head (e.g., when you try to pet him)? Is he licking his lips, or does he have an unusual facial expression (e.g., tongue hanging out)? All of these behaviors could mean that your dog isn’t exactly happy with your presence right now!
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Sniffing Other Dogs?
Dogs get mad when you sniff them because they consider it an invasion of their personal space. To curb your dog’s jealousy and make them more comfortable with being around other dogs, start introducing them to new people and dogs at a young age. The more time he spends around others, the more comfortable he’ll be in these situations. This will also teach your dog how to behave appropriately around others so that you don’t have to worry about any altercations.
Sources on Why Does My Dog Get Mad When I Sniff Him?