Daily walks: let my puppy smell, smell, smell :) or direct her to walk with me?

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by flor, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. flor

    flor Registered Users

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    Hi, all, and thank you for letting me in this forum! I am a Portuguese translator (Florbela) and I have a 4-month-old female lab, Ema. She's great in all senses, as all dogs are :) I have been working with her on basic training (religiously following the Lab Guide :)) and I live near in a great place for dogs but full of distractions... It's a park with lots of people and dogs! So far so good, as she had the opportunity to socialize with EVERYTHING really.
    My question here is: on my daily walks in the park, after she has done her thing (with a machine-like precision :)) I go along the park in a loose lead and let her smell, and smell, and smell. Of course, this means going where she wants without being pulled. Sometimes I call her and do a bit heel in a shorter lead. Should I keep doing this or should I direct her more into walking forward? Thanks a million!
     
  2. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    What you’re doing sounds great to me. Being able to sniff is immensely important to dogs. Allowing your dog to sniff sniff sniff is fantastic for her wellbeing, mental health and overall enjoyment of life.

    I basically do exactly the same as you on walks. Most of our walks are on lead. Our only rule is ‘no pulling’ and occasionally we do a short heel or a few obedience type exercises, plus we also sit at kerbs before crossing the road. Other than that our dog is allowed to walk where he wants and sniff what he wants.
     
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  3. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    As @Oberon says, it is important to let dogs sniff, also tires them out! I have a cue for my dog 'go sniff' so that he does it when it is convenient and at other times he walks to heel, though most of the time he is off the lead, so it is only when he is on the lead I can tell him 'go sniff' - no tight lead :D
     
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  4. Boogie

    Boogie Moderator

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    It’s entirely up to you.

    We are lucky to have many off lead walks and few on lead walks. So none of my dogs are allowed, or expect to sniff on lead at all.

    .
     
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  5. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    I am lucky to be like Boogie, with lots of safe off leash places. AT 4 months my puppy was not yet safely vaccinated so all our walks were in isolated spots off leash. While I do allow sniffing I also practiced our recall, which was learned much earlier. I'd hide and make a game of it. Now, if for some reason the whole walk must be on leash, I make sure to allow sniffing on part of it.
     
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  6. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

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    If you don't have access to many off lead walking opportunities the sniff, sniff, sniff becomes extra important. Sniffing helps tire the furry brain and gives them so much information about the goings on in the park. Continue to enjoy your walks :)
     
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  7. flor

    flor Registered Users

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    Thank you all for the quick and kind replies! And "pardon my English" (I am not a native speaker, so I will also be learning lots of REAL English here :)) with the confusion between "smell" and "sniff". Have a great week!
     
  8. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    You can actually use either smell or sniff, so you were not wrong to say “smell, smell, smell” :) I’d be more likely to say “sniff” in this case though because that’s a word you use to describe smelling using short, sharp intakes of breath with your nose right up to the object of interest.

    So if I walked into the kitchen and I could tell that there was a pizza cooking in the oven I’d say I smelled the pizza. But if I took the pizza out of the oven and put my nose near it and drew in the pizza aroma through my nose in short bursts then I’d say I sniffed the pizza.

    That explanation may or may not help!! :)
     
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  9. flor

    flor Registered Users

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    Thanks, Rachael :) The more I learn, the better :)
     
  10. Hollysdad

    Hollysdad Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Welcome from Holly and me. Our walks are a mix of training, playtime and free time. All of these are valuable to a dog.
     
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  11. flor

    flor Registered Users

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    Thank you, Phil :) Yes, I'm beginning to realise that's the perfect mix. And so is Ema :)
     
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  12. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Cant add to the advice already given, but just wanted to say Hello and welcome x
     
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  13. flor

    flor Registered Users

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    Thank you for your welcome, kateincornwall PS great profile photo!
     
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  14. SilverFalcon

    SilverFalcon Registered Users

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    Thanks for this post, after reading this, today we decided to take things easy and let Beau have full lead to sniff as he pleased. The walk was much more relaxed and much more enjoyable for everyone!
     
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