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The science behind sniff walks

There’s an abundance of stimulating dog toys and puzzles available these days. But did you know the most enriching of all puzzles is free?

Have you noticed that your dog will intently sniff a certain spot for what feels like forever? Sure it’s not so fun for us but there’s a good reason for it. The odour concentration of a scent molecule builds up over multiple sniffs, so don’t drag them away after a quick sniff. Let them take it all in! All those smells need to be processed somewhere, so their incredible brains work overtime. You’ll be surprised how exhausted they are after a Sniffari. 

Behaving naturally and making active choices are two key factors in maintaining your dog’s mental health. Meaning, letting your dog be a dog (through sniffing) can calm and relax them, improving their mental health. Sniffari’s may even result in less destructive behaviour at home.

Rule of paw

A dog’s nose can get them into trouble, especially if they’re strong foragers. Keep a close eye on your dog to ensure they’re not eating anything nasty or dangerous as they explore. 

Most local councils require dogs to be on-leash when not in the dog park. This is not only for your dog’s safety, but that of other dogs too.

Always use treats when walking to keep their attention on you. Whenever you need to distract them, call their name and reward them for focusing their attention on you. Then ask them to sit and reward. Our Belt Bag is an excellent tool for this. 

If your dog pulls on the lead, invest in a specifically designed walking harness that reduces pulling.

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The simple sniff walk is not only physically beneficial but mentally invigorating too, but many dog owners are led to believe that a fast paced, long walk is the best way to tire a hound out. In reality, allowing your dog the opportunity to use all their senses is crucial for communicating, exploring and evaluating the world around them. After all, dogs are the masters of moseying about. 

A bouquet of benefits

Dog parks are wonderful for socialising and allow your dog to have a bum sniff. But dogs absolutely love taking their time to sniff the world around them. Enter, the Sniffari. 

Mix up their activity by going on slow, peaceful walks where they can explore the world around them and follow their nose. Giving your dog a choice in deciding what and where to sniff will ultimately be an empowering and enriching activity for them.