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Why You Should Let Your Dog Sniff on Their Walk

A Dogs Nose Is Very Powerful

If you own a dog you probably know the importance of keeping your dog busy both mentally and physically. It will help you avoid problem behaviors in your dog, as those mostly occur from boredom or frustration in your dog. All in all, it’s great for your dogs well being in general. However there is one thing that some dog owners overlook, and that’s the sniffing part. You can buy toys for your dog to keep busy in many ways, but sniffing is a natural and simple way for a dog to be enriched. Your dog will enjoy your walks much more if you let your dog sniff around. A dog’s sense of smell is very powerful and by sniffing they will get much more stimulated. It also gives them more freedom and will let them become more tired and also more relaxed.

A dog’s nose is more than 100.000 times more sensitive than the noses of human beings. It’s very important to remember this as a dog owner. People use to say that in an area as large as an Olympic sized swimming pool, a dog will be able to detect a small drop of blood with their nose. A dog’s sense of smell is very important for exploring, evaluating and communicating.

Give Your Dog More Choices By Taking Slow Walks

Many dog owners believe that a fast-paced and long walk is the best option to make their dog tired. Mostly this means that the dog is on a short leash and the walk commonly takes place on pavements and roads, and the dog will walk close to their owner’s side. Sometimes you might also take your dog to a dog park where they can play with many other dogs. These kinds of walks are not very interesting for a dog, and dog parks can actually be stressful or over-stimulating depending on how much attention is given to your dog.

You can offer your dog a very beneficial experience when taking slower walks on surfaces like grass, and keeping your dog on a longer leash. It’s even better without a leash if that’s possible. Let your dogs nose decide where it will take you. You will positively empower your dog by letting him decide where to go and what to investigate when on a walk. It’s always good to let your dog have a few choices.

Your Dog Will Feel Better From Sniffing

When trying to make your dog tired by doing activities with high energy levels it might make them over-stimulated instead. But by using their natural sniffing abilities you will give them a more relaxing and calm option. Studies actually shows that your dog can become more optimistic if you give them sniffing possibilities.

Your Dog Will Get Tired From Sniffing

You might believe that a fast-paced walk will make your dog more tired than sniffing, but it’s not true. A slow walk with plenty of sniffing will give a mental enrichment much greater than what a fast walk ever will. Even if you only take a shorter walk with alot of sniffing your dog can get tired out. This will make your dog more relaxed and will help to avoid mischievous or destructive behaviors when you’re back home.

Dogs Communicate By Sniffing

Sniffing is a crucial part of dog communication, which makes it even more important. Every dog owner can get tired when the dog wants to smell every light pole or tree around the block, however, that’s how your dog will find out whether there are any new dogs in the area. Other dogs leave scent marks that your dog’ll love to sniff at. By smelling it they can actually determine whether the other dog is male or female if they’re familiar with the other dog and whether the dog is still close by.

You might get embarrassed when your dog wishes to smell the butt of every other dog you meet. However sniffing butts are to dogs as handshakes are to humans. That’s how dogs do when they first meet and it will help them distinguish the smell between different dogs. Sniffing can also be a sign of conciliation. If your dog sniffs around the ground it’s a sign to other dogs that they aren’t a threat. That’s why it’s important for you not to drag your dog away during these moments, as it’s a way to relax both of the dogs.

Different Sniffing Activities For Dogs

If your dog enjoys working with the nose there are many other ways to make them improve their skills, just then taking slow walks. You can, for example, spread some dog treats or kibble around an area and then let your dog search for it. This is a great and also cheap way of training your dog’s sense of smell. It’s really perfect for dogs who can’t exercise a lot physically, but also for nervous dogs to be able to relax and even get more confident. There are also so-called Snuffle Mats which can be used indoors. They have “grass” strands where you can hide dog food for your dog to sniff out, which is perfect for days with bad weather.

There are also scent work classes available if you want to train your dog even more. This learning environment is a lot more structured at those nose work classes. At the same time as it’s a great way to enrich your dog’s skills, it can also make the bond between you and your dog stronger. In those classes, your dog will learn to identify a certain scent and then how to find it. After finding it your dog will learn to alert you to the position where the thing is hidden.

When you take your dog for a walk next time, don’t get annoyed when you have to stop for him to sniff around every now and then. Embrace the fact that your dog wants to use its nose, you will get a happier dog as a result. Practice patience and enjoy the walks as well.

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