If your Golden Retriever keeps sniffing things you might be wondering why and what you should do about it.

This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it does it and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever sniff everything? The most likely reason is that it has a much stronger sense of smell than we do and that it does it to naturally get information about the things it is smelling.

There are actually many different possible reasons why it might be sniffing things and it could be due to a combination of reasons.

Why your Golden Retriever sniffs everything

The different reasons why it sniffs things will likely come with some clues. Below are a number of possible reasons why it does it and what would make them more likely.

It smells to get information

One reason why your Golden Retriever sniffs things a lot could be that it is doing it to get 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

It could also be the case that it does it in order to know what other animals have been around. Knowing what other animals have been around would have been very useful in the past since it will have allowed them to know if predators are nearby or if potential prey is nearby.

It’s curious

The reason that it does it could be that it is curious. As mentioned above, dogs get a lot of information about things by sniffing them in addition to looking at them. This could be why it sniffs you when you come home since it wants to smell the scent on you to find out what other animals have been around you.

It is hungry

The cause could be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if it starts sniffing things that it might be able to eat.

Their eyesight is not as good as ours

The reason why it sniffs things a lot could also be that it is making up for areas where it lacks in vision. Golden Retrievers and other dogs cannot focus well on things that are close to them and are partially color blind. In addition to this, Golden Retrievers have large muzzles which can get in the way of their vision. By sniffing things, they will be able to make up for areas where they lack in vision.

It can store the scent

Sometimes Golden Retrievers and other dog breeds 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 Golden Retriever keeps sniffing things on walks and you want to get it to stop, one option would be to make use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your Golden Retriever for displaying the behaviors that you want to see and you don’t reward it when it does not display them.

In order to get it to stop doing it, getting it to stop pulling on the leash would be helpful. You can watch the video below to see how to do it.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.