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Sniffing

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Jason25, Jan 7, 2021.


  1. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

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    daisy is getting worse with the desire to sniff and it’s driving me nuts.

    I will walk in the middle of the road of a night time to avoid her getting to the side walls to sniff the dog wee and stuff. But she will constantly try and pull me over to there.

    she will do a lovely walk to heel outdoors only if the treats are there, if they go away she turns into a hound and wants bloody everything.

    I used to do a 321 let’s go, but that’s not even working now and she will anchor down unless pulled away or if I wait until she’s stopped sniffing.

    any advice? I want to keep walking while she does this to tell her we are going my direction and that’s final but I don’t think that’s the right way to go because she anchors down and refuses to move until she’s finished?
     
  2. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    Dan's a little sniffer too! I sympathise with you, he sniffs as if he's following a trail, like a bloodhound, also at lamp posts, gate posts, bushes and even longer stumps of grass and weeds that overhang the path. It seems to be worse with the frosty weather we have at the moment. He's been neutered but still cocks his leg at every opportunity too. We also get the anchor down treatment, it's hard work walking him. I just tend to stand and wait for him to finish, reminding him occasionally (doesn't work). Can't offer any advice though sorry, maybe it's too interesting smellwise, where you're walking her :oops:.
     
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  3. ShibaPup

    ShibaPup PetForums VIP

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    Lily used to be a bugger for this - so I got involved, I'd point out interesting potential smells on walks or I'd sneak some food on the floor and point it out for her to sniff out - eventually put it on cue as "go sniff", at that point I also used it as a reward for good behaviour instead of toys or food, it was a "go sniff" on walks :) Also taught a solid "lets dog" and we swiftly get moving.

    It's important to let them sniff when appropriate - it's great enrichment and an excellent reward on walks too when you can work it in your favour.
     
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  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Why can't you just let her sniff? If the walk is for her benefit then she'd probably prefer a short walk distance-wise and be allowed to investigate all those tempting smells.

    I have one real 'sniffer' too and I know it can feel frustrating when you're just standing and waiting, and I do use '321 let's go' if she's been in one spot for an excessive amount of time, but I remind myself it's her walk, not mine.
     
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  5. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    I used to be of the opinion that whilst on a lead, apart from one pee/poo stop, no sniffing or scent marking was allowed. They had plenty of time off lead in order to do those things.

    However, as they aged and couldn't walk as far or as fast, and their exercise reduced in physicality, I allowed stopping and sniffing. I try hard to stick to my rule of never pulling them away but instead I simply stand and wait for them to move on in their own time.

    It can be difficult and frustrating but it's so important that dogs be allowed to sniff.
     
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  6. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    I'd make a choice and either let her have the walk to sniff, OR take your treats and get her heeling nicely. I'd even go as far as to change up how I'm attaching the lead to the harness so that she understands that one way is heelwork, and the other is free for her to do as she likes. I usually do this by having a training lead with 2 clips. If the clip is attached to the front of the harness/collar this means heelwork/loose lead walking (you can attach it to the back of the harness too, but any front attachment means 'walk nicely'). And if the lead is only attached to the back of the harness it's means the dog can sniff and wander about, and I usually give them more lead for this as well.
     
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  7. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Great example today, for me, of why it’s good for dogs to sniff.

    Tod lost his ball in the woods today (forgot it in his enthusiasm to go check out a very attractive Spaniel) and came back without it.

    So I sent him back to find it because he usually does, he loves searching for things, and it was the last of his squeaky Kong balls.

    I let him look for it for about half an hour, on and off, and after him really searching hard I gave up and we went home without it.

    And he just crashed out. I’ve ever seen him do that before but I was told, by the instructor that we did a bit of scentwork with previously, that dogs find sniffing very tiring.

    Recently I’ve been giving him more time to sniff anyway, because it came to me (better late than never) that I don’t give him enough of this on walks because instead of stopping to let him do it I just walk on, and he breaks off of whatever it was to follow me.

    Im lucky in that I’ve never had to do much pavement walking with my dogs but they all had the command ‘heel’ which meant ‘walk with me, don’t sniff, don’t pee’ and a ‘off you go’ which was ‘now you can do your own thing and I’ll follow, stop, whatever’.

    PS. I think maybe the hussy tart Spaniel stole the ball.
     
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  8. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Sox is very sniffy I normally don’t mind but this week it’s been freezing and has made me grumble. I actually prefer it when Loki is sniffy as it calms him down a lot. It might. be worth playing games with her and turning it into fun.
     
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  9. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    Memories of Dillon, he was a sniffer as well, his head was always in a hedge, sniffing walls his even been that intent with a trial his walked head first into a lamppost ans still carried on sniffing. He was neutered as well and still marked his territory on every lamppost or tree.:D
     
  10. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the replies :D

    @McKenzie i got no problem with a little bit of sniffing but she will stop every few feet for about a minute sniffing, it’s freezing and I want to keep moving lol. I can walk around my block in about 10 minutes but will take about 40 with her because of her sniffing antics lol.

    @Sarah H i think you’ve nailed it really. I need to keep her engaged with me so she doesn’t want sniff.

    Some of the fabric on her harness isn’t as soft as it was and it’s causing it to rub under one of arms so she’s only being walked on a collar at the moment until I’ve got her a new one ordered. We do two types of walks, our block walk of night time is just a walk around the block for her to have a pee and a bit more exercise. The other is when I finish work I take her to big open place where she will have lots of off lead time, the off lead time is her time to sniff in the bushes, mooch about and just do what she wants to do with a few games of fetch or tug near the end.

    Because she does enjoy sniffing we do some sniff/scent games at home where I’ll place her in a room while I hide a treat in a different room (no cheating :Hilarious), call her and tell her to ‘seek treat’ she loves this and it does really knock her out afterwards lol.

    I’ll try keeping the block walk to just a training/walking to heel for treats walk. If it fails I might try and do as @ShibaPup said and maybe teach her to seek out lampposts to sniff, it will be an improvement to every few feet :Hilarious:Hilarious
     
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  11. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I've got one neutered boy and one intact and quite frankly it doesn't make any difference - they're both sniffers! I can't walk as far as I used to be able to so it suits me down to the ground to let them sniff, although I now walk them separately, because they have different walking styles.

    Gwylim has very definite ideas about where he wants to sniff and spends quite some time investigating and posting his pee mail. Grisha on the other hand tends to faff around, his sniffing is random and he tends to wander all over the place which was annoying for Gwylim poor fella. Neither of them like be left at home but I think they do prefer a walk where they can do their own thing without any hinderance from each other.

    For sniffing their leads are attached to the front ring of their harness, but for pavement and town walking when sniffing is not allowed, their leads are normally attached either to their collars of the back ring of their harness.
     
  12. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    I've honestly never understood people not wanting to let their dogs take in all the sniffs on "their" walk...
    I get it when you want to get from A-B so you want a quick strut, or you are out training anyway...but on the dogs walk I allow them to sniff until they are content.

    I won't allow marking on bins, gates or anything owned (car tyres and such) but apart from that - it's their walk so I just wrap up warm and get on with it.
     
  13. Blackadder

    Blackadder PetForums VIP

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    Me either!
    So much of how a dog "sees" the world around it comes from it's nose, maybe it's main sensory organ & denying them the opportunity to sniff interesting things is like taking a human out blindfolded & pointing out the beautiful scenery.

    I understand how frustrating it can be, my two are sniff monsters & at 5.45 am in the freezing cold it's not top of my list of favourites standing while they bury their noses in the snow for what seems like hours & there are times when they have to be moved along. But.... it's what dogs do.

    Someone said to me a long time ago.... (paraphrased) Imagine a dogs world is a book, it's eyes see the front cover, it's nose reads the story :)
     
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  14. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    I like that ;):D
     
  15. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

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    Hi I’m not sure if that was aimed at me but if it was - I don’t have a problem with her having a sniff on a walk if we are going in a forward direction, it’s the 5 steps back and 2 steps forward, the pulling to the left towards someone’s garden wall to have a sniff, or the pulling to the right to have a sniff underneath the car and the not ready to move until she’s done sniffing. She is very persistent (I think that’s the word lol) i don’t find that very enjoyable that’s all.

    anyway we’ve took advice and done our walk a bit differently this morning and its made it a whole lot better.

    We started off by going to the green where she had a big sniff about for 10 minutes then, we practiced our walking to heel for treats. On the stretch home she didn’t seem too bothered about sniffing, of course she had the odd couple of sniffs but no where as bad as she had been these last few days and was happy just plodding along until we got in :)
     
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  16. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    My post wasn't really aimed at anyone in particular, it was just a general musing because I hear about this all the time and I just don't get it. This reply is actually what prompted me to make a comment:
    I don't allow pulling to get to sniffs either but if it takes me 40 mins to walk a 10 minute route (having a male this happens more often than not because he LOVES checking out that pee mail.) then so be it...unless I am in a rush, or have somewhere to be I let them sniff as much as they like...pulling means you miss out though so they learn pretty quickly IME
    With the weather the way that it is scent molecules won't be moving through the air like they do on warmer days...essentially locking the scent in place.
     
  17. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I've noticed with my two that they will sometimes pull strongly to get to a sniff. I could be wrong but in our case I think it's most likely when a fox has been roaming around. One of the joys of living in the country.
     
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  18. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Sometimes they just need to get that sniffing out their system. It's similar to having pent up energy I think. For example if I just pop a lead on Fly and take him out he's very excited and lacks focus, but if I take him for a quick zoom round the field first, them take him for a walk, he's much less OTT and listens better. It's the same with the excitement of scenting. They go out and are so excited and focused on getting information, give them a good 5-10mins or so of sniffing in a small are and they are likely to 'fill their boots' and then be able to focus better. Just a thought from my experience anyway.
     
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  19. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Cadvan definitely has this! I live right by a church with an old/historic graveyard and lots of leaves and trees and trails and so on. A lot of the ploddy-type dog walkers will literally just walk to the church, do a loop of the graveyard, and then go home, so lots of social scenting and sniffing happens there too. Some walks we go through the graveyard and out the other side, and some walks our route doesn't go that way at all... But we practically always divert into the graveyard and then double back on ourselves to get the excessive sniffing out of the way very easily. I use a lot of cues for sniffing time. I have 'I found sniffs' for directly pointing him at interesting places to interact with. And "shall we go?" for dedicated sniffing time has ended and you gotta focus now.

    Walks where I mix it up and we go a different way without diverting first, Cad will a) REALLY pull to at least sniff the main church gateway (not the way we go in if I'm doing the divert), and then will pull to get to other social scenting/ peemail spots nearby (again where all the ploddy people go) and b) is far less on game as far as recall and focus are concerned. So it's not really a timesaver!

    I usually jump up and down or do starjumps or stepdance or similar to stay warm while Cad's doing his thing. Stretches if I'm feeling really on my game.
     
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  20. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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