• Why Sniffing During Walks is Good for Your Dog

    Any dog owner knows one thing, your dog is going to sniff. They're going to sniff anything and everything their noses come into contact with. Most would agree, it can be a little annoying stopping every time your pet gets a whiff of something interesting. We are either walking to get to our destination or running for exercise.


    Have you ever wondered why your dogs are sniffing around? Could it be that they're fans of Sherlock Holmes and trying to solve a crime? We doubt it! It's far more likely your dog is sniffing around due to evolutionary tactics.


    Nose Facts

    Essentially, sniffing is natural for your dog. In fact, your dog has a better sense of smell than you. Studies have shown that a dog's sense of smell is 40 times greater than that of human beings. Which means dogs can identify smells almost 1,000 times better than humans.

    With 220 million olfactory receptors located just in their noses, compared to humans 5 million it's no wonder your pooch loves to sniff around so much. In short, it's a way for them to explore their surroundings and better understand their environment.

    A dog's ability to detect various scents depends uniquely on its breed. For instance, the Bloodhound breed is believed to have the best scent-detection capabilities in the world. However, plenty of breeds are capable of distinguishing between smells most humans can not.


    What Does It All Mean?

    Dogs are often sniffing people for one thing; information. Dogs enjoy sniffing around in order to gain an understanding of their surrounding environment. Much like any other animal, dogs feel the most comfortable in the most inviting environment.

    In fact, dog owners might notice their dogs sniffing them extensively after they've returned from a trip away from the home. It's because they're curious, they want to know about the scents we've attracted while we've been away. Even more intimate dogs can feel when we have a hormonal or health change such as pregnancy or illness. Suffice it to say, a dog's nose is its most important tool.


    The Importance of Dog Sniffing

    It's important to remember that most dog's vision capabilities are limited. Therefore, a dog's sense of smell is their primary sense. They utilize this sense more than anything else. While dogs are not completely blind, their color-blindness hinders their ability to detail shapes around them. Sniffing enables them to detail movements and shapes rather than the details of things.

    This is why smell is so important to our canine friends. Dogs can gather more information from sniffing scents than they can visually. This is why it's so important to allow your dog to sniff his/her surroundings.

    As a dog owner, it’s vital to understand the reasons why your dog is sniffing around. Dogs sniff to gain a deeper understanding of their surrounding area. It’s much like humans use all five of their sense to understand where they are. Preventing your dog from sniffing around in his/her own territory deprives them of learning. This can thereby leave them ignorant and vulnerable.


    You're a Member of the Pack!

    It's best for dog owners to allow their dogs to sniff around as much as possible. However, if you find your dog sniffing more than usual, experts suggest no more than 90 seconds for a dog to sniff and examine a smell they find intriguing.

    Remember that dogs are the descendants of wolves. Wolves travel in packs but whenever a pack member ventures off, it’s crucial for them to gather information. The pack will gather around him or her and sniff them to gain an understanding of their travels.

    It goes without saying that dogs share this same evolutionary trait. Sniffing gives them comfort and allows them to understand where you (a member of the pack) have been while away from them. Now that you know the importance of sniffing for your dog, walks no longer have to be a dramatic game of pull and tug. Go ahead! Grab your running dog leash and take your pooch for a walk...or shall we say for a sniff!

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