Let Them Sniff

Let Them Sniff

If you came to me and said Allegra, my dog is driving me bonkers. I can’t get any work done, I’m always being pestered or they’re getting into something. I throw the ball for them every day, we go for a walk. What am I doing wrong? One of the first things I would ask is, what is the quality of that walk? Is it just a bathroom break? Is it your time, or theirs?

I see it all the time, I saw it just yesterday. Someone dragging their dog along, yanking the leash every time the dog paused, because they had somewhere to be. I get it. And I have been that person. But every time I take my dog for a walk, I let him sniff. Yes we spend a lot of time backtracking or standing in one place. There is no heart rate measuring or workout to speak of. But that’s ok - because the walk is for him, not me.

Dogs learn everything about the world through their noses. It’s how they gather information, assess a situation for danger, and greet others. When you give your dog the time to sniff each blade of grass they find, you’re letting their brain think, process, and compute information. That in turn will lead to a more enriched and brain tired dog who isn’t bored and pacing in the house.

Some breeds like to sniff more than others. If your dog isn’t big on stopping every 2 feet on a walk, first of all count your blessings! And second of all, encourage them to use their nose. Hide their favorite treats in a scrunched up towel, or a laundry basket with old washcloths. Encourage them to sniff around and find it. Or if you’re really bold, order some coyote or wolf urine online and hide samples across your yard. See what your dog thinks!

I guarantee if you let your dog use their nose for a while at least once a day without interruption, they’ll leave you alone.

xo, A & P

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