If your German Shepherd keeps sniffing everything you might be wondering why and what you should do about it.
This post will show you why your German Shepherd sniffs things and what you can do about it.
So, why does my German Shepherd sniff everything? German Shepherds have a much better sense of smell than humans. With that being the case, they use their sense of smell to glean a lot more information about the world than humans are able to.
There are actually a number of reasons why your German Shepherd sniffs everything but they will almost always come down to having a much stronger sense of smell.
Why your German Shepherd sniffs everything
While it is true that your German Shepherd will sniff things a lot because it has a very strong sense of smell, it will also use this ability for a number of different reasons.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might sniff things and the signs to look for with them.
It smells to get information
The main reason why dogs will sniff things a lot is that sniffing things will give them a lot of information. For example, the urine of other dogs will tell it where it has been, its health status and what it has been eating. This is the case for humans too. They can even pick up on the ovulation of humans which is why they will sniff females more during certain parts of the month (source).
They want to know what other animals have been around
German Shepherds are very protective and territorial dogs which is why they are often used as guard dogs. The reason why it tends to sniff things such as trees and bushes is so that it will be able to tell what other animals have been around.
The reason why it sniffs things could be that it is curious about things. In addition to getting information, sniffing things it will help it figure out what it is and whether or not it is a threat or something to be excited about.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
It is hungry
The reason why it might suddenly start to sniff certain things more could be that they are hungry. This would be more likely to be the case if your German Shepherd suddenly starts to sniff things that might be edible such as dirt, empty bags of food or even poop.
Their eyesight is not as good as ours
Another reason why German Shepherds, in particular, will sniff things a lot is that they have big muzzles that can make it harder for them to see things. Since their muzzle is big, by sniffing things a lot they will be able to make use of their keen sense of smell to make up for the lack of vision.
It can store the scent
Sometimes German Shepherds will repeatedly sniff on the same thing. One reason for this is that they are able to store the scent of something which is something that humans can’t do. This means that, with each sniff, they are able to glean more information which is why they will sometimes keep sniffing at things.
How to stop your dog sniffing everything when it is on a walk
If your German Shepherd keeps sniffing things on walks then one option you have is to try reinforcement training. This is where you reward your German Shepherd for displaying the behaviors that you want to see.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop sniffing things on walks it would be necessary to train it not to pull on the leash. You would do this by stopping whenever it starts to pull on the leash and then to reward it when it does particularly well.
You can watch the video below to see more:
Take it on separate walks so that it can examine new smells
If you always go on the same walk then one thing that you could do is to take it on a new route one day. This should help keep it entertained and avoid boredom. However, it is likely that it will stop a lot to smell things so it is likely that it will take longer than usual.
Most Recommended For German Shepherds
Best German Shepherd Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.