I was having a conversation with neighbors and their newly adopted dog started sniffing Leo’s private parts. I could see the level of embarrassment on the owner’s face. My neighbor told me that how dogs can develop nasty habits that can embarrass you in public places. They tried to control their dog but it was useless. That was the moment when I decided to tell them politely that it is not something to be ashamed of. Male dogs lick other male dogs’ private parts to get socialized and all that poor pup was doing was to get friendly with Leo.
Why does a male dog lick other male dogs’ private parts?
This may sound pretty obnoxious but it’s a common practice for dogs to sniff each other’s genitals. Let’s have a look at why dogs lick other dogs’ private parts.
They can sense the scent
Different species form bonds and social connections differently. We, humans, use emotions, some birds and insects use their voices to attract others and dogs use scents. Isn’t it obvious that dogs will use scent to make bonds with other living beings? They are known for their sharp nose and remember other living beings from their scent.
My grandma has a dog who was aggressive for the first time he saw me and he started barking whenever he senses anyone at the door without even seeing them. Then he got normalized when I visited for a second and third time. Now how he knows it is me without even looking at me?. Of course, he remembers my scent.
Talking from my experience dogs can also differentiate between family members and strangers. Maybe family members share a scent note that dogs can identify. Coming back to the point when male dogs lick other male dogs’ private parts, they are targeting their scent to get socialized.
Hello, what’s your name?
When we meet we greet! The same goes for our dogs. It’s their way of saying “hi! Nice to meet you, what’s your name bro? ” so whenever you see male dogs sniffing other male dogs just chill he is trying to get a little friendly with a buddy.
Just a little curious
You might have observed dogs while doing random stuff. You must have noticed how they walk, sniff, investigate with their paw and move forward. Sniffing another dog’s private part could be a part of that curious nature where they are only trying to know the dog.
Dogs learn a lot about each other by licking or sniffing each other’s private parts. As naughty as it sounds, this helps them to remember a lot of things about another dog.
Young dogs licking male dogs private parts
This little CID game is quite fun for young puppies. By licking male dogs’ private parts, dogs can know each other’s age, health, sexual status, what they ate or where they have been in the past few days, etc. Young puppies find it quite amusing and may start licking adult dog’s private parts. Adult dogs however will stop the young dogs after a few lick and know sessions. If the puppy still behaves naughty, the adult dog may dislike it, and oops! Time to run.
How to stop your dog from licking other male dogs’ private parts?
Yes, like my neighbor, other dog parents can get embarrassed in a situation where their puppy starts licking other male dogs’ private parts. The best way to stop it is to divert their dog’s attention to another action. Just call their names and ask them to do another thing. This is the best way to de-track them without making them realize how embarrassing the situation was.
A simple “No” command will also work. When Leo does the same thing I say “NO” and he knows that this behavior is not allowed in public.
Why do dogs lick their private areas?
Well, all of the above was about male dogs licking other male dogs’ private areas. Now, what if they lick their own private areas. So we are going to tell you that this is normal too. If a dog licks its own private area in a limited capacity, it is fine but if they are licking their private area a lot, you need to stop them. Also, find out the reasons as some of them could be indications of medical diseases that can turn life-threatening if not treated on time.
Generally, they lick their private parts obsessively because of
Urinary tract infection
UTI is common in dogs but it needed to be treated in the early stages. A simple UTI not treated on time can turn into the kidney and genital infections leading to other severe health problems. In UTI, the dog may feel a frequent urge to urinate. If you see your dog peeing more than normal and licking its genitals obsessively, talk to your vet to know more about the possibility of a Urinary tract infection.
UTI can easily be treated with medicine. Both pills and syrups are available. However, your vet must advise you to do so. The treatment period varies depending on the level of infection.
Allergies can cause itching in the genitals. Your dog may have a certain food or environmental allergies that cause itching and irritation in its genitals. Learn about what makes your dog uncomfortable. If it’s a food allergy, eliminate the food that causes itch and if your dog has for example pollen allergy then act accordingly. For environmental allergy, minimize your dog’s exposure to pollens, etc. Clean your dog well after a walk and bathe him regularly to minimize the risk of pollens.
Both bacterial and yeast infections can cause itching in an infected area. Dog licking his private area so much can be an indication of a possible skin infection. The red patches indicate bacterial infection and black patches indicate a yeast infection. Both types of infections can be treated with medicine. Also, use medicated shampoos and Wipes to clean your dog.
Anal gland infection
Sometimes, dogs can get anal gland infections that can cause bad odor and swelling in the anus. The dog will lick and rub its genitals to get rid of itchy feeling. If this condition persists, it can turn into a more severe infection. You need to talk to the vet to get it treated.
How to know if dog licking their private area is a sign of infection?
Well, as it’s normal for dogs to lick their own genitals, how to know if there is an underlying problem?. Here are few things to keep in mind to know the severity of the situation
- Your dog does it more often. Frequently licking its genitals is a symptom that something is bothering your dog.
- You notice swelling or redness in the genitals. This is a sign of infection.
- Discolored patches on the skin.
- Your dog Is resisting urinating. (If there is an infection, peeing can be painful).
- A bad odor
- Your dog rubbing its genitals on ground
- A constant itch
- Unusual discharge from genitals
In case you notice any of these symptoms, talking to your vet is the best solution. Treat your dog timely to save him from further problems.
In the end, when dogs lick each other private areas or their own genitals, it is ok and accepted for some time. But if you notice them obsessively sniffing other dogs or continuously licking their private area, time to stop your dog and find the reason.