Should I Let My Dog Sniff On A Walk?
Getting a new puppy comes with a whole lot of questions. Am I feeding them enough? What can they eat? And why does my dog sniff everything? We know that getting a new puppy can just as worrying as it is exciting. We just want to make sure that our puppy is happy and healthy and do everything that we can to keep them safe.
Taking your puppy on their first walk is such an exciting moment, popping them in the brand new shiny collar and harness. But soon enough, they're sticking their head into bushes, lampposts and everything in between!
We might want to tug them away but should you let your dog sniff on walks?
Keeping Dogs Mentally Stimulated
As we all know, dogs have an incredible sense of smell so letting your dog sniff on walks to utilise that sense of smell will help with their mental stimulation as they are free to explore and discover new things.
A puppy's sense of smell is how they explore the new world around them and learn. Humans have only around 5 million scent receptors in our noses, but some dog breeds have over 100 million.
It is said that a dog would be able to sniff out a single drop of blood from an area as large as an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Letting dogs sniff and explore will help to mentally stimulate your dog meaning that they will be more tired and relaxed after a walk.
Keeping dogs mentally stimulated is best for their own wellbeing and it can reduce the chances of any behavioural problems such as problems with biting.
Give Your Dog Choices On Walks
Lots of dog owners want to tire their dogs out with fast walks or by allowing their dogs to chase around the dog park.
Whilst this provides good exercise your dog, it may not be as mentally enriching as you first thought.
Fast walking does not allow your dog to sniff and explore whilst dog parks can be overly stimulating, especially if your dog is nervous around other dogs.
By slowing down on walks and allowing your dog to sniff and learn, it will be a much more rewarding experience.
Walk somewhere peaceful where you can let your dog off the lead or use a tracking leash lead. These are long to allow for freedom and distance when training.
Dogs Sniff To Communicate
Dogs use smell to figure out scents. It may be annoying when they stop every metre or so but dogs can tell from a sniff whether another dog has been there, whether it is male or female or even if it is a dog that they know!
And of course, dogs sniff other dogs in a greeting. Just as we hoomans use a handshake to meet and greet, dogs will sniff as each dog has their own distinct smell.
Dogs may also sniff the ground to let the other dog know that they are not a threat. By not pulling them away, you will allow both dogs to feel more comfortable.
If you've got a new puppy, check out our Puppy Club for help and advice and join for 10% off puppy products for your pup's first 6 months!