A Sniffari is a walk where dogs are allowed to wander and sniff. The dog gets to make some choices about where he/she goes and what gets sniffed. It could also include moments where dog and human stand still and watch and listen.
What are the benefits of a Sniffari?
Dogs live in a world of scent. Sniffing pee smells where other dogs have been is as interesting to them as checking social media feeds is to humans. Make time on walks to let your dog check their ‘pee-mails’.
Sniffing all this information gives dogs a lot to think about keeping those canine brain cells working.
Allowing your dog to direct part of the walk gives your dog a feeling of control. Everyone including dogs, benefits from being free to make choices about what they do. Life becomes less stressful.
Slow sniffy walks are a great time to connect with your dog. You’ll both come home feeling happier and more relaxed.
Hobart Dogs’ Home Sniffari Experience.
Dogs walk with just their human family, and no other dogs around, as we want our sniffaris to be a relaxing and enjoyable outing for dogs that are anxious around other dogs.
Top Tips to Create Your Own Sniffari.
Pick the right time and space for you and your dog to walk. If your dog isn’t a fan of other dogs, stick to on-lead walks; a time when you are less likely to meet other dogs and a space that has things that you can use for visual barrier i.e., cars and bushes. Changing direction to put a car or shrub between you and an oncoming dog can help reduce the stress for your dog. Avoid nose – to -nose meetings as this is just bad manners.
Use a harness, preferably with a y-front, as these are more comfortable. If you are going bush, you can use a lead longer than 2m.
Take poo bags with you and a carabiner to hang off your lead for the poo bags.
Take treats. Lots of treats. Reward your dog when he/she comes back to you or looks back to check in with you. This will up your goodwill quota and reinforce recall training.
Break treats (get our favourite treat recipes here) into small bits and scatter on the ground with a ‘find’ cue to distract if dogs go past.
Finally, enjoy the time together and check out some of our Dogs’ Home Hobart Sniffari pictures below.