Sniffing OR I'm minding my own business here

a cocker spaniel demonstrates sniffing Sniffing has a lot of functions for a dog. Dogs communicate by leaving scents for one another and dogs are excellent at using their noses to keep track of what is going around in the world around them. However, sniffing has a function beyond smelling. Sniffing (usually sniffing the ground) communicates to other dogs that the sniffing dog is just minding his or her own business and is not interested in trespassing, taking part in any dominance challenges or otherwise interacting with the other dogs.  

Pico, seen here practicing her sniffing, is trained to sniff on command.  This is very useful for walking past barking dogs and other dogs that might cause problems.  Because this sends an appropriate message to the other dogs, she is comfortable doing this no matter what the other dogs do (although given her choice, she'd rather bark back at them!)  Sniffing also works very well in situations where arching would not be appropriate - for instance when you need to pass another dog on a narrow path.

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Anonymous said...

This was a quite interesting post. Brownie walks our entire morning route lost in her nose. She is also seldom bothered by other dogs, and gets along with them well if they do come close. My other little guy? He strolls around, head up, surveying the world, unafraid to give any other dog or person his opinion.

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