Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Cat Eye Blinking
Name: Chris C.
Status: Other
Age: 20s
Date: 8/6/2004

Hello, I was wondering the specific reasoning for the way dog's greet other dogs? Why do they smell each other? Also, where could I find this information, (web site, book, magazine)?

Hi Chris

The animals communicate.That communication uses as external way the senses organs and through them the impressions are transmitted to the brain and interpreted by various and complexes ways. It is called pheromone any chemical used in intraspecific communication between animals. These chemicals may be secreted by special glands or incorporated in other products such as excretory urine. Many of them are sex attractants. Dogs have the sense of smell very well displayed. Remember the chase dogs for example. They find mostly through the sense of smell. When the dogs (and other animals, like the cat) greet others they go through the pheronome that is located at the anal glands. So by their way of greet, they are recognizing( or not) themselves. That happen elsewhere at the animal kingdom, look at the ants, and the bees. And.the humam mammal has of course pheronomes, only... we are more discreet. But some scientists say that pheronomes play a part in simphatizing (or not) some other person at first sight.

And thanks for asking NEWTON!

(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)

Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory