Whenever your dog is out for a walk, whether in familiar or unfamiliar territory, it is processing hundreds of scents that are completely invisible to your nose. The mental enrichment your dog gets on a slow walk with lots of time for sniffing is much greater than they would get on a fast-paced, walk to heel.
Excessive sniffing is a trait that most dogs share because it’s an ingrained part of who they are and how they communicate. For your dog, going on a walk and finding all sorts of new smells is like going on a treasure hunt and finding gold at every step of the way.
By giving your dog more opportunities to use their powerful sense of smell, they will undoubtedly enjoy their walk more. They will also be more stimulated, gain more choice and freedom, and, ultimately, be more tired and relaxed.
Their sense of smell is crucial for communicating, exploring, and evaluating.
Your dog is given few choices of their own, and by making time to allow them to decide what they want to investigate and how long they spend doing this on a walk, or in another appropriate environment, you are positively empowering them.
Don’t forget that sniffing is also a vital part of how your dog communicates.You may get frustrated when your dog wants to sniff every lamp post down the block, but they are usually just checking out the scent marks of another dog in the neighborhood. These scents will allow them to tell if the dog is a male or female, if it is one they are familiar with, and whether they are in the near vicinity or not.
So allow Fido to sniff all they want, it’s so important to them and allows them to explore and see what other dogs are walking around.