Skip to Content

Why does my Labrador sniff everything?

Why does my Labrador sniff everything?
Pet Dog Owner is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

If your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador sniffs everything

Below are some possible reasons why it sniffs everything and what would make them more likely to be the reason.

It smells to get information

The most likely reason why it sniffs things a lot is that it has a strong sense of smell and sniffing things allows it to gather information about the thing it’s sniffing. 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 cause could also be that it is curious about the thing that it is sniffing. For example, if it sniffs you a lot, it might be trying to find out if you’re ok and where you have been.

It is hungry

One reason why it might sniff things could be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if it starts sniffing things that might be edible.

Their eyesight is not as good as ours

The cause could also be that it makes up for areas where it lacks in its vision. Labradors and other dogs cannot focus well on things that are close to them and are partially color blind. In addition to this, Labradors tend have large muzzles that 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.

How to stop your dog sniffing everything when it is on a walk

If you want to get your Labrador to sniff things less when you are walking it, one option would be to make use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward it for doing things you want it to do and avoid rewarding it when it does not.

To get it to stop sniffing things on a walk, you would reward it when it walks with you the way you want it to and stop rewarding it when it does not. You can watch the video below to see how it is done in order to get it to stop pulling on the leash which makes use of the same techniques.

Best Dog 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. You can get the first month free using This link