How to Train a Dog Not to Sniff When Walking

Do you love your dog but hate it when he sniffs everything on your walks? Do you wish you could teach him to walk nicely without getting distracted by every smell? If so, this article is for you. In this article, I will explain why dogs sniff so much, how to train your dog not to sniff when walking, and what to do if they still sniff too much. By the end of this article, you should be able to train your dog not to sniff when walking, even if you know nothing about dog training. Let’s get started!

Why do dogs sniff so much?

Sniffing is a natural and normal behavior for dogs. Dogs have a very powerful sense of smell, and they use it to explore the world and communicate with other dogs. Sniffing can also be a way for dogs to relieve stress, boredom, or anxiety. Sniffing is not a bad thing in itself, but it can become a problem if your dog sniffs too much or at inappropriate times, such as when you are walking him.

How to train your dog not to sniff when walking?

The first step to train your dog not to sniff when walking is to teach him a cue that means “pay attention to me”. You can use any word or sound that you like, such as “look”, “watch”, or “focus”. To teach this cue, follow these steps:

– Start in a quiet and distraction-free place, such as your living room or backyard.
– Hold a treat in your hand and show it to your dog.
– Say the cue and move the treat up to your eyes.
– When your dog looks at your eyes, praise him and give him the treat.
– Repeat this several times until your dog responds to the cue consistently.

The next step is to practice the cue in different places and situations, gradually increasing the level of distraction. For example, you can practice in your front yard, then on your street, then in a park, etc. You can also practice with different types of treats, toys, or praise. The goal is to make your dog pay attention to you no matter what is going on around him.

The final step is to use the cue when you are walking your dog and he starts to sniff something. As soon as he sniffs something, say the cue and show him a treat. When he looks at you, praise him and give him the treat. Then continue walking. Do this every time he sniffs something on your walks. Over time, he will learn that paying attention to you is more rewarding than sniffing.

What to do if your dog still sniffs too much?

If your dog still sniffs too much on your walks, even after you have trained him not to sniff when walking, there are some things you can do to help him:

– Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and mental stimulation. A tired and happy dog is less likely to sniff excessively.

– Allow your dog some time to sniff before or after your walk. Sniffing can be a fun and enriching activity for dogs, as long as it is done in moderation and at appropriate times. You can designate a specific area or time for sniffing, such as a patch of grass or the last 5 minutes of your walk.

– Use a head collar or a front-clip harness to control your dog’s head movement. These tools can help you gently guide your dog away from tempting smells without pulling or hurting him.

– Be patient and consistent. Training your dog not to sniff when walking may take some time and effort, but it is worth it. Remember to always reward your dog for paying attention to you and ignoring distractions.


In this article, I have explained how to train your dog not to sniff when walking. By following these steps, you should be able to teach your dog to walk nicely without getting distracted by every smell. This will make your walks more enjoyable and safe for both of you. I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you for reading!