We have worked with many Salt Lake City dog training clients, and a common frustration is how often dogs sniff on walks. We assure you that you can create more peaceful and happy leash walks. Let’s start this now.
Surprising sniffing is actually relaxing for dogs and is an important part of being a dog. Dogs have very strong noses. They can even smell people underwater. Expecting them to not sniff on leash walks is not realistic. Instead, we recommend taking a more win-win approach.
Create balance on your leash walks with walking forward and taking breaks to sniff. This can be accomplished in many ways. One way is by changing your mind-set. Remember a walk is fun for your dog too. Putting yourself in your dog’s shoes can help a great deal.
Teaching your dog to move forward and break away from smells by teaching “leave it” or “target” can help create more happiness and obedience on your walks.
You can also put smelling on command. Request your dog to “smell” as a reward for walking forward on the leash and not smelling. This will encourage your dog to understand that he gets to do what he wants (to sniff) in return for doing what you want (walking forward on the leash).
You can also use a management technique. This won’t teach your dog obedience, but it will create your dog to smell less. Walk your dog in areas where smells are less frequent such as on the pavement. This could be a parking lot or a wider paved trail.
You can create obedience on your leash walks. Salt Lake City dog training clients of ours have been pleased to practice the above concepts.
Johanna Teresi, Professional Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Salt Lake City, Dog Training, Utah