There are a lot of smells in this world - some good, some not so great but all of them are interesting, especially for a dog! A dog can smell about 40 times better than a human which makes every little scent even more pronounced and intriguing. So, when you take your dog for a walk and they keep their head down, sniffing the whole way, it is because everything just smells so remarkable! Here are a few great activities to help your dog get some use out of that sniffer!
Dogs who like to smell are most likely huge fans of sniffing around for food. Your dog probably can smell a chicken scrap from a mile away and can detect when you have new treats in your grocery bags. So, why not make a game out of this! You don't just give your dog a treat for now reason - you probably make them work for it! Just as you have your dog sit, lie down or do a trick before giving them a treat, you should make your pup work for their dinner. How can you do this? Simple - by making it hard to find!
Did you know that there are clubs across the country that are designed specifically for dogs who love to smell? That's right! Dog tracking clubs are everywhere and most are organized by the American Kennel Club so they are nationally recognized. With tracking events, tracking certifications and tracking courses, your dog will never get bored if they participate in a tracking club. Another plus of these clubs is that you, the owner, will also get to socialize with other owners who have dogs who love to sniff - a perfect conversation starter! This is an ideal activity for your dog who loves to smell.
If your dog is truly a gifted sniffer, then maybe you should put their prize winning nose to good use and train them to sniff out mushrooms. Dogs have been used to forage for truffles (a very highly sought after mushroom) for hundreds of years. A dog who has been trained to sniff out the location of this delicacy can be invaluable - truffles are not only delicious but extremely profitable! Truffles sell for a few thousand dollars a pound thanks to their rarity and unique flavor. So, if your dog can learn to find truffles, you may have your household's next moneymaker on the leash!
One of the favorite games for a dog who loves to smell is hide and seek. Have your dog stay in one room while you hide. Let them use their sniffer to find you!
Get three or four different colored plastic cups and hide a treat under one. Say the color of the cup and have your dog flip that color cup over for the treat. Do this process a few times and your dog will know their colors!
A dog's nose is an amazing thing. It is incredible how much they can smell and how a dog really can use this sense to find objects, to play games and to guide you toward treasure! You should never view your dog's love of smells as a bad thing (just watch them around the garbage pail!) but instead you should celebrate it and encourage them to sniff some more! You probably smell hundreds of things a day so just imagine what your dog smells… the good, the bad and the things you don't even want to imagine sniffing yourself!