Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?

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Animal behavior is curious. And sometimes it’s downright embarrassing! Take dogs, for instance: why in the world do dogs sniff butts? And shouldn’t they be embarrassed — because their owners sure are! Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts, written by Dog Expert, Dr. Nick Crumpton, and illustrated by Lily Snowden-Fine, answers these questions and more for pet owners who love dogs but hate the fact that they love to sniff butts.

The book opens with an introduction to the fact that dogs were once wild animals but are now domesticated enough to be our very best friends. Artist Snowden-Fine’s illustration of human remains lying next to a dog’s skeleton demonstrates the fact that “the earliest remains of a dog were found buried next to humans in Germany….around 14,000 years ago.” Next, the book launches into fun facts, like how many different dog breeds are in existence (339!), how dogs “speak” (by wagging or positioning their tails different ways), and, of course, why dogs sniff butts (to get to know other animals…sort of like shaking hands).

There’s a cute section of dog facts, like which dog is the smallest in the world; which is the largest; which has the longest ear or tale; and which dog has the longest tongue! Young readers learn about herding dogs, hunting dogs, loud dogs and mountain dogs. They read about dog heroes, dogs that dig — and why they do it, and why dogs love to chew bones.

There are also bonus sections that explains curious things, like what your dog does when you’re gone, why dogs love to chase cats, and why dog poop smells so bad. In other words, whatever question you might think of to ask about a dog is covered in this adorable book. The prose is cute and age-appropriate, and the illustrations are full-to-the-brim of tail-wagging, ball-chasing, butt-sniffing dogs.

Use this book in your early elementary or middle grade science class, or make a gift of it to any young child who is preparing to adopt his or her first pet dog. It also makes for great independent reading.

Enjoy!

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