Have you ever given your dog a sniff walk?
A sniff walk probably means all sorts of different things to different people – but for me, it means a walk for your dog with the main aim being to give them licence to go sniffing like crazy.
It’s different from our usual walk.
With Roscoe, we’ve had problems with him pulling on the lead – which we’ve worked hard on, and he’s a whole lot better (that blog post should be coming shortly).
However, because he’s so sniffy, we’re very careful about when to let him sniff (going from sniff to sniff was one of the main reasons he used to yoink us along his walks).
I let him have a good old sniff at the beginning of a normal walk (and occasional designated sniffing areas), and then we have a lovely stroll the rest of the time – with an absolute minimum of sniffing.
When we get to a sniffing spot, I’ll slow.
He’ll look at me – he’s checking to see if I’m okaying sniff time.
If I am, I look at him too and say, “Go on then!”
And off he goes – nose down, snorting in the scents of the season.
The first sniff walk…
The first sniff walk we did happened by accident.
A couple of days previously, we’d spent too long in the river with him playing ‘diving for stones’ – it’s his own game – he loves diving under the water for stones and bringing them back to us.
We let him spend too long in a stonier part of the river, and he hurt his paws (we felt very, very guilty, and we’ve banned ourselves from non-sandy river beds).
So it was a couple of days after sore-feet-river-day, and lucky for him, I had my-one-day-a-year clever head-on and thought I should pop him out but… just for a sniff.
He looooooved it.
We’re lucky enough to have a lovely area of grass and flowers two or three minutes away from our house. It’s somewhere all passing dogs will pull their owners to if they can.
We spent about 10 or so minutes wandering slowly up and then back down, with Roscoe just sniffing and sniffing.
Dogs arrived, and dogs left, but Roscoe wasn’t interested – he had all of the local dog gossip to catch up on.
In the end, he wandered back to where we’d started and led us back home – thanking me all the way with looks of love and nuzzling.
He looooooved it.
It’s been a walking revolution for us.
Now once or twice a week, we’ll go out on just a sniff walk, and he’s a very grateful grapefruit.
So if you’ve ever fancied walking home with a very grateful grapefruit – try out a sniff walk.
If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about why all our lovely dog’s sense of smell is so good… In fact – it’s their dominant sense (like ours is vision) – just pop along to the post: Your Dog’s Sense of Smell.
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