Politics & Current Events

"Why do white people smell like wet dogs?"

A bit of random for your day. 

After 8 years of living with two dogs who love to play in the garden hose, I finally sought to answer that age old question: why do wet dogs smell?

Typing that very query into Google brought me some very unexpected results, about half of the hits were answers to some variation of "why do white people smell like wet dogs?"  

It would seem this is some widely held belief, this smell, so much so that dozens of forums and even a book (http://www.amazon.com/White-People-Smell-Like-Dogs/dp/0967597102) have explored the topic. 

I clicked on one of the threads and witnessed humans at their very worst (http://www.topix.com/forum/afam/TMGGMAM7I4LKN25EK), not surprisingly, but I still found a chuckle or two:

Deondre wrote:
why do white folk french kiss dogs?http://revver.com/video/68088/cute-girl-mkes-... 

. They kiss their pets on the mouth. Trust me here, only white people do this. They won?t marry anyone darker than Cher, but they?ll full on French-kiss some ancient bug-eyed dog who drools. Explain that to me, will you? And while you?re at it, tell my why the same kind of old white ladies who won?t even let anyone sit on their good sofa without a plastic cover will suck face with parakeets, which are basically feathered lizards who sit on a little swing and squirt crap all day. And yet the cops find one dead hooker in the trunk of my car and all hell breaks loose" 

 ----------------------

So, am I the only one who was not familiar with the white people/wet dog thing?

And if you're curious, it seems that the dogs most likely smell due to the protective oil, which is more abundant in some breeds than others. My double-coated shelties take forever to dry, and are more prone to the wet dog funk. And I most certainly do NOT kiss them on the mouth, nor do I keep plastic covers on my sofa. And though I adore Navin R. Johnson as much as the next girl, I don't eat bologna with mayo or twinkies, either.

Re: "Why do white people smell like wet dogs?"

  • The only people I've heard talking about that stereotype are white. :D I'm not sure I can help.
    Team Basement Cat image Knitting&Kitties
  • I don't think H smells like a wet dog Hmm
    "HOW many US citizens and ranchers have been decapitated in Arizona by roving bands of paperless aliens, and how will a requirement that I have papers on me make that not happen?"courtesy of SueSue
  • I have heard this many many times. From black people, not white. And when I point out white people that dint smell, they believe they are the exception not the rule. Its ridiculous
    June 13, 2009 ~ Ocho Rios, Jamaica
  • Oooh, I have a new theory! Maybe white *hippies* smell like wet dog and that's why they bathe in patchouli.
    Team Basement Cat image Knitting&Kitties
  • image meshaliu:
    Oooh, I have a new theory! Maybe white *hippies* smell like wet dog and that's why they bathe in patchouli.

    Ick!   I thought it was to cover up their unwashed armpits.

  • image pixy_stix:
    image meshaliu:
    Oooh, I have a new theory! Maybe white *hippies* smell like wet dog and that's why they bathe in patchouli.

    Ick!   I thought it was to cover up their unwashed armpits.

    I like mine better. It's less gross. 

    Team Basement Cat image Knitting&Kitties
  • image pixy_stix:

    image meshaliu:
    Oooh, I have a new theory! Maybe white *hippies* smell like wet dog and that's why they bathe in patchouli.

    Ick!   I thought it was to cover up their unwashed armpits.

    pffft. It's for the weed and hemp ;) 

    image
  • I heard about this a few years ago and thought it was ridiculous. Then one day my SS comes in and low and behold, he smelled like wet dog! I have no explanation for it.
    image
  • I do smell like wet dog right now so, it much be true (I just finished giving the dog a bath). Wink
  • LB smells like wet dog. More than once when I am bathing her, I will smell her, usually when my nose is close to her hair when I am washing it and I laugh to myself knowing that it is true.
    Green Cleaning Recipes
    ~Be a Good Wife ~ Updated 3.30.12 - Smell Like A Dirty Hippy
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  • image majorwife:
    LB smells like wet dog. More than once when I am bathing her, I will smell her, usually when my nose is close to her hair when I am washing it and I laugh to myself knowing that it is true.
    Hmm. I know my kids have stunk before, but I've never made the wet dog connection. More like dirty sandbox and feet, which is probably worse.
  • Lol, fitting that my sig pic is my two boys playing in the dirt. They play hard, and smell accordingly by bathtime!
  • image Bride2bMO:
    image majorwife:
    LB smells like wet dog. More than once when I am bathing her, I will smell her, usually when my nose is close to her hair when I am washing it and I laugh to myself knowing that it is true.
    Hmm. I know my kids have stunk before, but I've never made the wet dog connection. More like dirty sandbox and feet, which is probably worse.
    No. This is when she is clean. It is something about her hair being wet that smells like wet dog.

    And a dog after a bath smells like a wet dog too. It's clean but still smells. Same thing

    Green Cleaning Recipes
    ~Be a Good Wife ~ Updated 3.30.12 - Smell Like A Dirty Hippy
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  • We have a bunch of random quotes up on our office wall from as far back as 1998, kind of a interoffice history or weirdness and the white people/wet dog quote is one:

    Came up in a meeting when our production manager a black guy in his 60s said white people smelled like wet dog. We all went into a fit of giggles and another guy said, 

    "Well, yeah. Didn't you ever tell your dog it smells like a white person?"

    Probably funnier to me, but that's all i have to add to this. I don't necessarily think dogs smell like white people. But I'm white, so I can't really tell if I smell like wet dog 

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  • What do people of other races smell like when they are wet?

    I know this is most likely an ignorant question...

    Sorry...but I've only smelled white people--and it's true. We do smell like dogs. 

  • image majorwife:

    image Bride2bMO:
    image majorwife:
    LB smells like wet dog. More than once when I am bathing her, I will smell her, usually when my nose is close to her hair when I am washing it and I laugh to myself knowing that it is true.
    Hmm. I know my kids have stunk before, but I've never made the wet dog connection. More like dirty sandbox and feet, which is probably worse.
    No. This is when she is clean. It is something about her hair being wet that smells like wet dog.

    And a dog after a bath smells like a wet dog too. It's clean but still smells. Same thing

    Now we're getting somewhere. I know that smell. And my bald baby doesn't get it, yet. So maybe a hair/scalp oil thing? Do white people have more of this? Interesting.
  • cocoa butter :p
    Team Basement Cat image Knitting&Kitties
  • OMG. I am absolutely crying at work over Deondre's comment. Maybe it's because I...um...kiss my dog on the mouth. Embarrassed
    image
  • image meshaliu:
    cocoa butter :p

    FTW

    *I have cocoa butter lotion in my purse right now! LOL*

    image "There's a very simple test to see if something is racist. Just go to a heavily populated black area, and do the thing that you think isn't racist, and see if you live through it." ~ Reeve on the Clearly Racist Re-Nig Bumper Sticker and its Creator.
  • I wonder if its our preference for hair care products, and wanting our animals to smell like us?
  • All children smell stinky after playing outside, but I've never noticed it with adults. Of course I am white. I think most adults either smell like the products they use--lotion, shampoo, etc or like sweat/BO. Thankfully the latter is the minority of people.
  • So is it racist to wonder why "all black people smell like coconuts?". Im pretty sure people would throw a fit if that was the statement being made. And coconut is a nice smell! Who wants to be told they smell like a wet dog? Im not one of those people who shouts racism at every opportunity, but this sounds pretty racist to me. Just saying.
  • image MeredithE:
    I don't think H smells like a wet dog Hmm

    Word.

    In all honesty, he often smells like coco butter too because he use our (Kirklette and my ) lotion.  

  • I don't even know what a wet dog smells like. Shows you how much I'm around dogs.
  • When I get done running...I smell like dirt and sweat...and I'm not going to lie:

    I like it.

    As in--I often wallow the entire day away in my own grossness...

    Then I take a shower--and I smell like wet dog--until I put on my hippie lotion. 

    --signed--someone awesome. 

  • I used my shampoo on my dog, but I never thought we smelled the same.  I will admit I liked sniffing her kirkland shampoo wet dog post bath self.

    But, I'm a dirty hippie.  I despise patchouli, but I really don't mind when I get stinky (to a limit!  I don't want to smell like some of the people on the bus). 

    image
  • Wait - are white people not supposed to use coca butter?  I did not get that memo! 
    image
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  • I had to ride the school bus with kids who didn't shower or wear clean clothes everyday. When it rained the bus smelled like wet dog. Everyone was white. It doesn't matter who you are, if you are not bathing or wearing clean clothes, you will smell like wet dog when damp. Here is the possibly offensive unscientific racial comment: I think you are more likely to find subsets of the white population that don't bathe everyday (e.g. hippies), hence the stereotype. Signed, a white person
  • I read once that the Viet Cong could smell Americans (I don't know if it was confined to white people or not) in the jungle during the Viet Nam war because they had a distinct, different smell.  The speculation was the difference in diet, but I don't think that would apply with white people wet dog smell, since we don't eat that differently from other races.

    I will say there is no stink like a car running car pool on a hot day picking up a group of sweaty, active children of all races. 

    image
  • I am familiar w. the stereotype but only because I read It's The Little Things by Lena Williams in high school and it's all about little things that anger + annoy the races about each other.  That was one of the examples.  The guy I was dating at the time asked one of his friends about the stereotype and she said its totally well known in their culture + pretty accepted that white people most likely smell like wet dogs when they get wet. 
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