Is sniffing as good as walking?

(25 Posts)
LoveUsed Sat 12-Oct-19 18:54:32

I take my new rescue out for a couple of walks a day. Morning one usually longer, around an hour if I can. He’s on a long lead for walking through the fields and a short one for walking by the roads (no recall)
But my question is, I’m not ‘walking for a whole hour’. LoveDog does a lot of sniffing, snuffling and trampling through the undergrowth. He seems to be moving around a lot doing this, but sometimes I’m walking very slowly, sometimes stood still waiting for him to investigate something. So after an hour outside, we may not have covered a huge wide Area if that makes sense?
I guess my question is is that ok?! I guess it’s enrichment too? Like his legs don’t actually have to be moving at a certain pace for the walk to be effective and for him to get amount exercise/stimulation?
He’s my first dog and I want to get it right! He’s a terrier cross if that helps (I know they do like to snaffle about though)

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LoveUsed Sat 12-Oct-19 18:55:33

He obviously also gets training (as he’s completely untrained), playing and cuddles throughout the day as well. He’s 3 years old.

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TeacupRex Sat 12-Oct-19 20:23:48

100% yes! Letting your dog sniff is so important, it stimulates their brains and gives them a mental workout from all the olfactory information they pick up with their powerful noses. Ours spend about 80% of their walk pottering around sniffing on a walk. It's a vital part of letting your dog be a dog smile

LoveUsed Sat 12-Oct-19 20:30:50

Thank you @Teacup for the reassurance! I was worried that we don’t cover a huge distance or anything, and when I get home my husband says ‘oh you’ve been gone for a long time!’ But LoveDog has spent a lot of his time snaffling around! He seems to love it and I love watching him investigate things!

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ThisIsNotMyRealName1 Sat 12-Oct-19 20:35:55

Absolutely what Teacup said, so good for them. Sniffing etc is way more stimulating/enjoyable for him than just walking for an hour.

ineedaholidaynow Sat 12-Oct-19 20:40:54

Our dog trainer regularly feeds their dogs by making them sniff for their food using things like snuffle mats, rather than putting their food in a bowl

LoveUsed Sat 12-Oct-19 21:39:06

Thank you all! I know because he’s a terrier they need quite a lot of stimulation and exercise and I want to get it right for him x

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stanski Sat 12-Oct-19 21:40:52

You sound like you'll be a fab dog owner ❤️

Wolfiefan Sat 12-Oct-19 21:41:56

I once heard sniffing for dogs compared to reading a paper for us! It’s the news. grin
My girl loves to run and play but loves a mooch and a sniff even more. It works their brain is hugely important.

LittleSweet Sat 12-Oct-19 21:46:00

I read someone calling it peemail. My dog loves to track scents.

Wolfiefan Sat 12-Oct-19 22:03:47

I love peemail! I’m old. Hence the newspaper thing. I’m totally stealing peemail. grin

LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 03:46:03

Thank you @stanski I hope so 💓

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LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 03:49:31

Thanks all, when he comes in from a walk we have a play and then he does settle so I figure he must be stimulated, I guess I was just worried grin I worry about everything with him as it’s completely new territory.

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Milkstick Sun 13-Oct-19 04:02:59

Aww. Lucky dog. One of my pet hates is a dog walker dragging their dog away from a good sniff, it makes me sad. I was out with my greyhounds years ago when they stopped to investigate a smell very thoroughly and I cheerfully muttered "bloody hell, must be unicorn piss!" - there was someone behind me, they were grinning as they passed. :D

BeagleMomma Sun 13-Oct-19 04:41:03


I once read some research that said something like a 15 minute "sniffy" walk where there were loads of interesting and new smells could be the same amount of stimulation as a 2 hour run with no time to stop and smell.

My boys love the evening before bin day so they can investigate everyone's bins grin

LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 08:36:15

I normally let him lead the way as well, yesterday we did the same area of field and undergrowth over and over again just in different directions grin I only pull him away if it’s not safe....for example the first week I had him I let him investigate under a hedge and he got his lead tangled and we had to use hedge cutters to get him free! confused Lesson absolutely learned.

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CupCupGoose Sun 13-Oct-19 08:39:32

Dogs love a good sniff. Slightly off topic but A game I play with mine is I lock them in the cage then hide tiny pieces of chicken or whatever around the whole of the downstairs and just let them sniff it out. They love it!

BertrandRussell Sun 13-Oct-19 08:41:35

When we got our dog, I saw a trainer on YouTube talking about walking walks and television walks. A television walk was one where they could take their own time and sniff and potter as much as they want, like a human flipping the channels, watching bits of programmes and seeing what was going on in the world.....

LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 08:53:13

When we walk by the road I guess we have more ‘walking walks’ too, he does sniff but we do walk more. So I guess there’s a good balance! I just prefer the field walks because they are quieter and more scenic

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 13-Oct-19 10:17:38

Hi @LoveUsed smile
Good thread. Can I ask which long leas you use? I think Sam would love a long leas in the field and possibly garden.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 13-Oct-19 10:18:06

Why did you autocorrect lead to leas you stupid Ipadconfused

LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 11:23:26

Hi @ThisIsNotAIBUPeople smile
We use this one

Sorry if that doesn’t do the link thing! I do like it, I feel safe with him on it. I use it on a harness and even when he does pull it feels quite secure. But I always take the short lead with me just in case!

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 13-Oct-19 11:24:40

Great thank yousmile

LoveUsed Sun 13-Oct-19 11:25:30

I think there are some differences between the cord and tape leads but this one does the job for us, although everyone has their own preference!

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LimeJellyHead Wed 20-Nov-19 11:11:43

Sniffing is massively important and yes, a good 20 min sniff and explore is worth an hours walk or more.

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