All dogs need a variety of different types of walks and enrichment. If your dog is bored and you're looking for new and fun ways to burn off some of their excess energy, I recommend all of my clients to add sniffaris into their walk routinues!
Your dog will enjoy the freedom of getting to explore at their own pace and sniff all the wonderful smells they encounter. These walks also give you a chance to decompress and take in nature. And luckily, going on a sniffari can give you a way to get outside and still socially distance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Using their sense of smell is incredibly enriching for our dogs and mental tiring as they use alot of energy processing all the information they receive from sniffing.
What do I need?
First of all you are going to need a LONG lead- minimum 5 meters long (but personally I use a 10m line). Ideally made from a waterproof material like BIOTHANE, so it doesn't pick up all the mud and become heavy- plus the material makes it easier to handle and doesn't burn your hands.
Secondly, TASTY TREATS! You can use them to encourage sniffing and to find things, reward automatic check ins or even just calm behaviour! This is a great opportunity to practice some recall around distraction in the distance too!
You can also get a training pouch to keep your dogs rewards in to prevent your pocket getting smelly- ideally easy to access, I like DogsGoneGood because it has magnetic closure so it is easy to open and close quickly and has space for my keys
On Your Sniffari
On this type of walk we want to keep our distance away from other people and dogs to have a calming time, therefore it is best if your dog remains on a lead unless they are very calm and will not run over to say hi to other dogs and people.
Also please avoid retractable leads! Unfortunately they can be dangerous for the dog or handler and do not help to teach your dog to recall or walk on a loose lead.
Please stay aware of environmental risks in your area and also stay away from wildlife- but of course having your dog to a long line gives you better allows you to mange the situation and even train a recall in those situations.
Another consideration is to ensure your dog is protected from fleas, ticks and other little nasties and do a post-walk body check to ensure your dog has not picked up any ticks or anything.