If your dog sniffs a blade of grass with interest for a few minutes, you may become an impatient owner. However, this is important for your dog. Let’s explain why.
You want to take a leisurely walk with your four-legged friend, perhaps do a little work on it, but every few meters your dog stops and sniffs peacefully. Are you sometimes tempted to just hurry up? Experts agree that this should not be done.
Because sniffing while walking does several important things for your dog. Not only does this provide variety and activity, but the four-legged friend also learns a lot about other dogs and their environment. And: Abundant sniffing can even make your dog more optimistic and contented. At least that’s what the 2019 study suggests.
As you can see, walking for your dog is more than just movement. And there are many reasons why you should calmly let your dog sniff it.
But why is nose work so fun for four-legged friends? Obviously, this has something to do with her super nose: “Smell is one of the most dominant senses for dogs, and their sense of smell is superior to that of humans,” explains veterinarian Dr. Andrea Tu opposite the Dodo.
Scientifically, this means: “In humans, the olfactory mucosa is five to 13 square centimeters in size, with five million receptors,” says the doctor “. However, this is nothing compared to the olfactory mucosa of dogs, which is 387 to 432 square centimeters in size, with 220 million to two billion receptors, making their sense of smell 50-1000 times better than that of dogs. people “.
And since we smell much worse than our fur noses, our daily lives are also much less focused on smell.
“We put them on a walk and focus more on the goal than on the path,” says author and dog expert Alexandra Horowitz. “This is why we know dogs need exercise and socialization, but it just takes longer to figure out that they need to sniff.”
Dog Sniffs for Information
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, for example, a pile of leaves that smells of mildew is, in most cases, a real fireworks display for your dog. Therefore, you should pamper your four-legged friend on a walk with extensive gustatory pleasures.
“Give him as much time as possible to sniff roses, grass, stones, and sidewalks, because that’s half the fun for him when he walks,” the doctor advises. Andrea Tu: Especially because smells convey important social messages for dogs. “In a sense, it’s like flipping through the Internet and our pages on social networks to collect information about today and the lives of those around us.”
Thus, a slow circle, during which the dog has a lot of time to sniff at it, can even tire him more than a brisk walk. After all, he has to process a lot of information. So if your dog sniffs a lot, he will definitely be busy.
Sniffing Games for Home
Do you also want to promote your dog’s beautiful nose at home? Various games aimed at the sense of smell of your four-legged friend help. But be careful: don’t overexert your beloved! Sniffing work can tire your dog quickly.
For a fragrant relaxation, you can, for example, show your dog the treat and then hide it in the room. The first few times so the dog can still see the treat. To increase the complexity, you can hide the object of desire, for example, under a stack of paper, under a couch cover, or elsewhere so that your dog can only find it with his nose.
We also recommend the so-called “fragrance courses”. To do this, the owners need to change their point of view: from the length of the route to the number of different smells your dog smells. First of all, your dog should be able to roam and sniff as much as he wants.
Not every walk down the street has to be fragrant. Walking patterns can range from exercise to playing with other dogs. But: just allow time for your dog to use his nose.