Sniffing Brings us Joy!

A Reflection from Riley

Yay, it’s warm again and I love to walk in warm weather.  My mom walks dogs every day for other people. Recently she had a request that did not make any sense to me – the owner of a dog she walks asked her not to allow their dog to sniff while they walk! I cannot imagine not being allowed to sniff when I go outside. It’s one of the most joyful things that I get to do every day! Without being allowed to explore the outside world through our nose, our lives can be very boring living with humans.

Just think about it. Our humans go to work for 8 or more hours a day while we are confined in a small space, typically with nothing to do. In the case of mom’s dog walking client, not only is this dog confined inside the house all day, it stays inside a crate that is just big enough for her to fit in! I can imagine that she is overly excited to get out into the great big world and check out all the wonderful smells of the day! Did you know that sniffing is how we learn about our world?  The AKC compared not being able to sniff with a human wearing a blindfold.

There is so much information for us to gather from our walks…scents of squirrels or rabbits that scurried about, other dogs that recently walked by, leaves falling from the trees, amazing scents blowing through the air, yummy things people spill on the ground, birds and other creatures along the path. It’s so exciting we can hardly stand it!

Coming from a dog… please, do your dog a favor – let it explore the world through its nose when you take it for a walk. But, if you insist on not letting it sniff for whatever reason, please understand that when it chews on your furniture, or gets into the garbage, or does anything else you don’t like while it’s inside the house, the reason is because it’s extremely bored. It needs to find other ways to fulfill those mental and emotional needs that it would otherwise get from sniffing.

So, let your dog be a dog and do what dogs do! Sniffing makes us happy!

Love, Riley


The Life of Riley