RSPCA Education - Lessons and Activity Library - Education
Let dogs sniff
Taking your dog for a walk is more than exercise. It's an opportunity for dogs to make use of their noses! If they want to stop, let them sniff the roses (probably other dog's wee, which is even better).
Last edited: 11/09/2023
Before you get started
How do dogs see the world?
Animals use many senses to learn about the world they live in. Let's think about all the reasons a dog may want to sniff around new areas:
- Social reasons (It's good to know who is in the local area)
- Navigation (it's always handy to have a 'scent map' in the head)
- General interest (Oo, I've never smelled this before; how exciting!)
A fantastic dog walk
Let dogs enjoy their walk
Think of the 'walk' as a physical exercise, while the 'sniffing' is a mental exercise. They’re both important! Take your time; there is very little need to pull your dog away from a good sniff (unless what they sniff is a risk to their health, such as nasty chemicals or dead animals).
Watch your dog as they sniff. Do you notice differences in how they sniff? Look out for these different sniffs and think about what they mean:
- Crazy sniffs around a large area
- Lots of little sniffs in a small area
- Long and deep sniffs in a specific area (gold mine!)
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Take a photograph showing us that you let your dog sniff. We want to capture how many dogs are given opportunities to go on their own ‘sniffari’.
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