Bulldog sniffing obsessively

Posted by Kyle
Sep 7, 2007
Hi there,

I have a year and a half old english bulldog who has developed a curious habit of sniffing obsessively around my mother-in-law's dog (and others that he meets during walks, etc). He is gentle around them, lets them sniff him, etc, but then moves right to the crotch area and will not stop sniffing and this in turn causes drooling (in large puddles). Also, when we pull him away, his mouth is moving oddly, it looks like he is chewing with his mouth closed. He also does this whereever my mom-in-law's dog has peed (inside the house and out). We have tried several different methods (i.e. squirting him with water, shaking a can at him, etc), but it's almost like he goes into some sort of "sniffing trance" or zone where he has to be snapped out of it by us pulling him away using the leash or physically picking him up and moving him. I know dogs sniff each other to greet one another, but I have never had any of my previous dogs develop this particular habit - any ideas on what's going on here and what my wife and I can do to stop this? He is not neutered - I am not sure if that makes a difference or not.


Posted by Emma
Sep 12, 2007
Hi there Kyle

Thank you for your email regarding your bulldog and his obsessive sniffing. You are right in that this is a really normal behavior for dogs. Some dogs are alot more keen to get involved and sniff the other dog than others.

I do think that the fact that he is an entire male will increase his curiosity and extent of his sniffing. Entire males are much more territorial and much more interested in other dogs than are neutered ones. As far as the funny facial expressions - I think this is just specific to your dog, I have not heard of this bizzarre behavior before but i doubt it is anything to be worried about.

In terms of stopping this behavior the only thing you can do is consistently and firmly show him that this is something that is unacceptable by you. For this you need to use the simple dog training rule of reprimand the beahvior that you dont want and reward the behaviors that you do want. Always pull him away and give him a sharp growl as he goes forward to sniff. Do this before he actually gets there and do it everytime. Then ask him to sit and reward him for doing so in the presence of the other dog. This may take some time and some practice but consistency is the key. If you train train train what you want them to do they eventually understand.

If you are not wanting to breed from your dog perhaps you should consult with your veterinarian about getting him neutered. Aside from the advantages that it may pose with this behavior problem there are many advantages health wise as well.

I hope that this will help you.