Our grand dog is one-year-old and not yet neutered. He has a habit of sticking his nose in people’s behinds. We’ve had success with eliminating his jumping up on people by using a spray bottle. But for this behavior, it is very difficult to spray when it could be effective. Do you have ideas for what we can do to eliminate this very annoying behavior before it becomes his habit? Will neutering help? (Breeder said it is best for the dog to not be neutered before he is two.)
– Please sign me anonymous, Chicago, Illinois
It can be embarrassing to have a crotch and butt sniffing dog, but it’s a common behavior dogs use to gather information on their canine friends. Because dogs consider us part of their pack, it’s a compliment that they are interested in meeting us, even if it’s an invasion of our nether regions.
Don’t discourage your dog from canine to canine sniffing. When it comes to humans, however, set some boundaries. If telling him “no” doesn’t work, then shake a can of coins or use something called a Pet Corrector (available online), a product that issues a little “shhh” of air to get your dog’s attention. Then call him to you and ask him to sit. Dogs generally can’t sniff humans from the sitting position.
As for your breeder’s suggestion, don’t wait to get your dog fixed. Neutering can prevent other bad habits from forming, like spraying in the house.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal