You‘ve probably noticed that dogs usually always walk with their heads down, as if looking for something and constantly sniffing everything. In this article we will talk why it is important for your Australian Shepherd to sniff and how to use it as an advantage.
Why it is Important to let your Australian Shepherd sniff around during walks? Sniffing for Australian Shepherd, just like any other dog, is a means to know the world. Their smell is much more perfect than ours. As compared to us humans, smell is as important to dogs as vision is to us. A walk in the park can give your Australian Shepherd a lot of information about the presence of other dogs, their gender, and so on.
Sniffing Is a Basic Need For Australian Shepherd
Intense sniffing is considered a basic need of every dog. When sniffing, Australian Shepherds receive information from their environment. With their keen sense of smell, dogs can locate directions and create some kind of olfactory map in the brain. This also explains why dogs are used to search for and find disappeared people. Trained dogs can follow the trail even after a few hours. Australian Shepherds are no exception, they are also a fairly common breed as working dogs in the police or military. According to the source, Australian Shepherds fall into the Top 25 most commonly used dogs in military and law enforcement.
Dogs seem to share information that way. Smell and find out what the situation is for the other dog, what gender, age, desire to mate. For dogs, this is essential information that provides about whether the other dog is suitable for breeding or poses a threat.
This is why you can not stop your Australian Shepherd from sniffing. However, sometimes dogs sniffing can lead to embarrassment. If your Aussie is too easily distracted by all the different smells along the walks, you need to look for a way to control it a bit.
Here are some suggestions:
- Give him attention or cuddle;
- Train commands such as sit or let it go. This will help your Australian Shepherd to understand that their behavior is not good. Always have some delicacies with you that are healthy treats to reinforce your Aussie‘s good behavior;
- Give a lot of exercise before you go for a walk so that your dog doesn‘t want to sniff so much and you can take a quiet walk.
Why Do Australian Shepherds Sniff Human Crotches?
Probably everyone has experienced that a dog at some point wants to sniff a crotch. It‘s certainly not a very cozy situation, but it‘s easy to explain. This way they find out who they are dealing with.
Like dogs, we humans have so-called apocrine glands that secrete scents. These glands are increasingly located in the crooks of our arms and in the genital area. If a dog wants to get to know a stranger better, the easiest way for him to get information about the complex scents is in our crotch. That‘s why the dog sniffs the crotch – there are numerous and easily accessible scents.
This behavior can lead to more awkward moments when women have their menstrual period. Scientists have found that pheromones change in women during their period. The dog perceives the change. Sniffing at the women is then many times more interesting for him and he therefore does it much more intensively. The same phenomenon can be seen when a woman is ovulating. Dogs also recognize the fertile phase of the woman by the changed smell.
How To Avoid Embarrassing Sniffing?
For most people it is embarrassing when the dog explores the private parts with its nose. And it can also be uncomfortable for dog owners. It would not be very effective to discipline or punish him for this. After all, this is natural behavior for every dog. And in this situation the animal would not understand the punishment.
What to Do If Your Australian Shepherd is an Intense Sniffer
If you know that guests will be coming to you soon, then it is best to briefly lock the dog in another room or keep it on a leash.
At the same time you should practice the basic commands with him. Once your Australian Shepherd has absorbed these, you have the control over how and when he behave next to other people.
Another way is to warn guests of the dog‘s desire to sniff. In this case, it is best to allow the dog to sniff your hands as an alternative to sniffing and getting to know you.
If you find that your Australian Shepherd really likes to sniff everything, take advantage of it. Many activities can be devised here, such as: search for food, for objects or for people. In general, you can also train your Aussie to distinguish between smells. For example, the search for mushrooms. You can teach your dog to go and search for Chanterelle with you and then point them out in the forest.
A variety of household items can be used to develop a dog‘s sense of smell. If you want to give your Australian Shepherd more psychological tasks, you can use everyday products such as a tea bag. They have a strong characteristic odor, are available in a variety of flavors and are very easy to use.
You can lay out the teabag really openly and later more and more hidden. A lot of praise and rewards are very important as soon as your Aussie found what it is looking for. Later increase the level of difficulty by hiding different tea bags around the apartment. Treats or other rewards are only given when the right tea bag has been found. Using such games, not only you will have a good time with your pet, but he will also be much more obedient at home and during the walks.
Sniffing is a completely natural activity for your Australian Shepherd. A good comparison: sniffing is as important to a dog as vision to a human. If your Aussie is obsessively sniffing all around – try to raise him so that after hearing the command the dog will stop. Or take him to another room when you have guests. Also use this behavior in various activities, not only will you have a good time with your pet, but also will encourage him to think and drain the accumulated energy.