A Dog Sommelier Answers: What To Sniff For In A Good Butt

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 23, 2016

Dear Dog Sommelier,
I heard dogs smell each other’s butts to get to know each other. What exactly do you sniff for? What makes a good butt?

Nosey Human

Dear Nosey,

It’s true, we dogs use our butt sniffs as kind of handshake. There’s so much you can learn from a dog butt: how they’re feeling, how they eat, what their life is like. Heck, it’s pretty much a doggy Tinder profile. But to answer your question, you want to know what we’re smelling back there.

Much in the same way you might analyze a wine’s aroma to determine its attributes, some of us dogs have developed a keen expertise in butt appreciation. Since humans are unaccustomed to enjoying a fine butt, here are some basic tips should you decide to give it a try.


1. Really get your nose in there.

Just like when you smell wine, you can’t be shy about sticking your nose right up close. You may think it looks silly or embarrassing, but just look around the park – everyone’s doing it. Go ahead and take in a big whiff. It’s a sign to the other dog that you know what you’re doing.
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2. Identify what you smell.

We all smell things differently based on our preferences and chemistry, so while one butt may smell like a bed of roses to me, you might think it smells like crap. That’s okay. There’s no wrong answer here. Just try to pick out the individual scents you’re getting from that particular butt. Here are some commonly found flavor notes:

Perhaps this butt is attached to a dog with a well-rounded diet, or a dog that has snuck a bite from the neighbor’s compost bin.

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This butt may have been cultivated in the country, or perhaps the dog just had some indigestion to take care of.

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This butt belongs to a dog that is well cared for. (Any dog that regularly gets cheese is a good dog to be friends with. It increases the likelihood you’ll get in on some cheese, too.)

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Dog Food Brands
You might spot a familiar flavor, or discover something new. Ask the butt’s owner where their stink is sourced.
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That X Factor
Sometimes you and a butt just click. There’s no explaining it. Savor the moment.

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3. Have fun!

Sometimes we get wrapped up in taking our butts too seriously. It doesn’t have to be complicated. After all, sniffing butts is a social activity to be enjoyed amongst old and new friends alike. Don’t worry about impressing anyone else with your vast butt knowledge. Just find a butt that smells good to you and enjoy it!

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Happy sniffing,
The Dog Sommelier


Featured image via @jchapell/Instagram

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 23, 2016

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