Trainer reveals three reasons why you should let your dog sniff on walks

Dachshund dog sniffing dirt and staring at camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

Do you let your dog sniff when you take them on a walk? If not, you may be missing out on one of the best ways to give their physical and mental health a boost.

While playing a game with the best puppy toys or practising various training exercises with your dog while you're out and about are both important, sniffing can give your canine benefits these two activities can't.

And when it comes to ways to have more fun with your dog on walks, tossing treats on the ground to create a Hansel and Gretel-like trail and letting your pup engage in a good old sniff-fest is right up there. 

To help us understand why sniffing is so important, expert trainer Adam Spivey has released a video to Instagram in which he explains some of the key benefits of letting your pup use their nose.

Read on to find out more...

"Do you let your dog sniff on a walk? If not, you should," says Spivey.

"The nose is such a powerful thing for the dog. They take in so much information through slowly sniffing and exploring.

"Sniffing decreases your dog's heart rate, it decreases stress levels, it's also mentally and physically stimulating," he explains. 

It's important to note that letting your dog sniff does not mean abandoning all the rules and letting them do whatever they want — your dog still has to be able to walk nicely.

"The dog should still listen to you on walks and check in with you on walks. You should teach the dog a heel position and the importance of thresholds," Spivey advises. 

And if your dog starts pulling to try to get to something, Spivey says to simply stop and wait for that leash to go slack before letting your dog sniff what it is they're wanting to sniff.

So next time you're on a walk, why not let your dog have a good old sniff? Not only is it great for their physical and mental wellbeing, but it will boost their happiness too!

I tried a 45-minute sniffari and it tired out my border collie more than a two-hour hike, is well worth reading if you're looking for a fellow pet parents take on the powerful benefits of sniffing. 

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Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.