top of page

How To Go On A Sniffari With Your Small Breed Dog

Updated: Feb 22

Fawn Frenchie sitting with daffodils on a sniffari

Sniffari Dog Walk

Your small dog will love the chance to take their time sniffing everywhere!

With years of doggy experience here at Mary Puppins luxury dog home boarding, we tapped into our expertise to offer you some insights into how to help your canine companion live their best life.

Sniffing is one way to instantly make your dog happy!

A Sniffari Dog Walk to the Shops!

Our little companion pets love accompanying us on our daily errands.

Popping to the local dog-friendly shops, nipping into the village to grab a coffee or simply having a dog walk and wander in the park can all be a brilliant adventure for your small breed dog.

Sniffari Dog Walk - Let Them Take Their Time

Let them take their time, sniffing every lamp post, every bush, every blade of grass.

Dogs have highly sensitive noses that they use for communication.

They are not being annoying by sniffing everything!

They are taking in information from other dogs.

Sniffari Dog Walk to Learn and Gain Confidence

Giving your small breed dogs time to sniff, allows them to satisfy their natural instincts.

Like toddlers, the more they explore, the more they learn.

Their confidence grows.

And you have a calm, well-balanced canine companion as a result!

FAQs about sniffaris with your small dog breed:

A sniffari is a type of walk where you let your small breed dog explore the world with their nose. It is a combination of "sniff" and "safari", and it is a great way to provide your dog with sensory enrichment, mental stimulation, and fun.

Here are some answers to your questions about how to go on a sniffari with your small breed dog.

How to go on a sniffari with your small breed dog?

To go on a sniffari with your small breed dog, you will need a few things:

- A long leash or a retractable leash that gives your dog enough freedom to sniff without pulling or tangling. Depending on your taste and how comfortable your dog is, you can use a harness or a collar.

- A safe and interesting area to explore, such as a park, a trail, a garden, or a neighbourhood. Avoid busy roads, crowded places, or areas with potential hazards for your small breed dog.

- Some treats, toys, or praise to reward your dog for sniffing and exploring. You can also use these to get your dog's attention if they get distracted or wander too far.

- A positive attitude and patience. Let your dog set the pace and direction of the walk, and follow their lead.

Don't rush or force them to move on if they enjoy a scent. Allow them to stop and start as they please, and praise them for curiosity and adventure.

What are the benefits of a sniffari for your small breed dog?

A sniffari can have many benefits for your small breed dog, such as:

- Improving their physical health by providing low-impact exercise that suits their size and energy level.

- Enhancing their mental health by stimulating their brain, reducing boredom, and relieving stress.

- Strengthening their bond with you by sharing an enjoyable activity that builds trust and communication.

- Enriching their life by exposing them to new sights, sounds, smells, and experiences that make them happy and confident.

What are the best places to take your small breed dog on a sniffari?

The best places to take your small breed dog on a sniffari are those that offer a variety of scents and textures for them to explore. Some examples are:

- A park with grass, trees, flowers, benches, and other dogs or people.

- A trail with dirt, rocks, leaves, branches, and wildlife.

- A garden with plants, herbs, vegetables, and insects.

- A neighbourhood with sidewalks, fences, mailboxes, and other dogs or people.

How to train your small breed dog to come when called on a sniffari?

Training your small breed dog to come when called on a sniffari is important for their safety and your peace of mind. Here are some tips to teach them this skill:

- Start in a familiar, low-distraction environment, such as your home or backyard. Put your dog on a long leash or a retractable leash, and let them sniff around.

Call their name cheerfully, and reward them with a treat, toy, or praise when they come to you. Repeat this several times until they reliably respond to their name.

- Gradually increase the distance and difficulty of the recall by moving further away from your dog, hiding behind objects, or adding some distractions.

Always reward them generously when they come to you.

- Practice the recall in different places and situations, such as on walks, in parks, or in new areas. Keep the leash on until you are confident your dog will come when called in any environment.

- Use a cue word or phrase that signals the end of the sniffari and the start of the walk back home.

For example, you can say "Let's go" or "Time to go" when you want your dog to stop sniffing and follow you. Reward them for complying with the cue.

What are the safety tips for a sniffari with your small breed dog?

A sniffari can be fun and safe for your small breed dog if you follow some basic safety tips:

- Keep an eye on your dog always, and don't let them wander too far from you. Use a leash that is appropriate for their size and strength.

- Check the weather and dress accordingly. Avoid going on a sniffari in extreme heat or cold, or when there is rain or snow. Provide your dog with water and shade if needed.

- Watch out for potential dangers such as sharp objects, poisonous plants, trash, or other animals. Prevent your dog from eating or licking anything harmful to them.

- Respect other people's property and privacy. Don't let your dog enter someone's garden without permission. Pick up after your dog if they poop.

How to make a sniffari fun and rewarding for your small breed dog?

A sniffari can be fun and rewarding for your small breed dog if you:

- Let them choose where to go and what to sniff. Follow their nose and interest, and don't interfere with their exploration unless it is unsafe or inappropriate.

- Encourage them to use their nose and their brain. You may hide some treats or toys in the grass or bushes and let them find them. You can also ask them to perform some tricks or commands in exchange for rewards.

- Join them in the fun. You can talk to them, play with them, or sniff with them. Show them that you are interested in what they are smelling, and share their excitement.

- End on a high note. Make the sniffari short enough, and stop before your dog gets tired or bored. Praise them for being a good sniffer, and give them a special treat or toy.

How often should you take your small breed dog on a sniffari?

There is no fixed rule on how often you should take your small breed dog on a sniffari, but it depends on your dog's personality, needs, and preferences.

Some dogs may enjoy a sniffari daily, while others prefer it once or twice a week.

You could experiment with different frequencies and durations, and see what works best for your dog.

The most important thing is to make the sniffari a positive and enjoyable experience for both of you.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

At Mary Puppins,  we prioritise your cherished pets' well-being, offering a haven of comfort and care during their stay.

Our commitment is to ensure your small breed dogs are treated like family, receiving top-notch attention and care.

BOOK NOW  via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins, sniffari dog walk

Mary Puppins, Sniffari, dog walk, dog walking, dog walker

Mary Puppins dog nanny expert in small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


Mary Puppins Pet Parents' Blog



We provide free, useful information for pet parents of small dog breeds UK. 

Please be aware that our opinions may differ to yours and that's ok. We encourage healthy, positive discussion. 


We all love our small dogs! And want them to live a long and happy life. 

Mary Puppins Small Dog Expert Blog
bottom of page