Sniffing None Stop


Sniffing Dog

Sniffing Dog

Hi, My cocker spaniel has just turned one and started sniffing excessively, it's been 2 weeks now.

He runs around our garden sniffing and has no interest in anything but sniffing. When he is out walking he sniffs none stop, where he used to play with other dogs and listen to me now he isn't bothered about the dogs and ignores me 'cause all he wants to do is sniff.

What should I do, I'm worried about him?

Response from Pauline (Web Owner)

Sniffing is what Cocker Spaniels do best!

When they're sniffing, they're searching for scents; evidence that some other dog or animal has been, or is, in the area.

For example, your dog will sniff along the route of his walk to work out who's passed by recently, ie other dogs being walked.

A dog will sniff the ground before doing it's business.

They use scent to communicate, for example, a bitch in heat communicates this fact with scent and a dog can pick this up from quite a distance!

Dogs mark their territory and other dog's sniffing will either walk on (subservient in nature), or will urinate (more dominant in nature) in a bid to mask the smell with its own.

So you see, it's quite natural for dogs to sniff.

Perhaps your dog is sniffing (excessively) in your garden because he's found the scent of an animal that's been spending time in your garden, for example, a badger, fox, a cat, a squirrel, or even another dog.

If my Cocker Spaniel gets the scent of a pheasant, for example, off he goes, and there's no calling him back - no matter how well he's trained!

I just have to wait it out - eventually he comes back.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you're really concerned, what not arrange a trip to the vets?

Comments for Sniffing None Stop

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Cocker spaniels are ‘working’ dogs
by: Anonymous

Cocker Spaniels are super pets but they are bred as working dogs so you have to understand that when they circle the garden sniffing they are doing what they were bred to do, ie., ‘working’.

Our 10-year-old bitch has worked all her life during the shooting season either beating or picking up with the guns but in the off-season, she will ‘work’ our garden for hours on end with no detriment to her - it is her greatest pleasure to do this.

She is exceptionally fit as this excellent exercise for her and at her recent check up with the vet she was pronounced the most ‘clilled out’ dog with the most non-stressed heartbeat they had ever encountered in their environment, so don’t deprive your cocker from it’s greatest pleasure - it’s only doing what it was bred to do!!

Manic Sniffer
by: Anonymous

My Cocker Spaniel sniffs throughout his training. I got him when he was 18 months previous to that he was a stud dog but lost interest. After four months of getting him and he was used to me, I took him for his first training session.

He is now 2.2years, but I cannot get him to walk to heal off the lead as he just sniffs the whole time, he is not even interested in treats which are used to try and get his nose off the ground.

We are now at the stage where the dogs are allowed to run off the lead and play but he is not interested he just wants to circle the whole area and sniff and even when I call him he will take his time and come when he has finished. He is a lovely loving dog and when in the house just wants to sit as close to me as he can and have cuddles, but he won't play with other dogs. If I play with him in the garden he will play for a little while but latches onto a smell and off he goes. Not interested.

Excessive Sniffing By Our Cocker Spaniel
by: Peter McDougle

For the past month our 2 year old cocker spaniel has been "on a mission" sniffing excessively in our garden darting round in near frenzy.

He even ignored his morning food bowl I put out for him as he searched and sniffed for whatever.

It takes ages for him to calm down when we bring him indoors. His heart is pounding and has a huge thirst. The only remedy I've found is to keep him on a lead even when I let him out for morning or evening wee.

I'm just hoping this will eventually pass but it's been a good month now without any sign of change.

Would welcome any 'cure' anyone has.

Cocker Spaniels Sniff!
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

It's a fact of doggie life - Cocker Spaniels sniff. Their sense of smell is so much better than ours and they can smell things that are quite far away.

My Cocker sniffs in the garden all day long. He even tries to lift small stones to get at the little lizards shading from the sun.

Your vet has given you the all-clear, so your Cocker is healthy which means it's probably a behavioural problem rather than a health problem.

Your dog could be catching the scent of cats, (or a new cat to the neighbourhood) rabbits, a mouse, in fact any small animal or rodent that's wandered into your garden during the day or night.

Is it possible that there's a bitch in heat locally? If there is, it's entirely plausible that Oscar will be able to smell her.

I wouldn't worry too much about Oscar. It sounds like he's enjoying himself!

Kind regards,

Dog Sniffing Frantically
by: Anonymous


Oscar has been frantically sniffing around the garden for the last few weeks,to the point were his nose is bleeding. I have been to the vets and blood tests are clear.

I was worried about the amount of water he was drinking, throwing half it back up.

Any ideas on how to break this cycle. Vet has cost a fortune and been no help. This behaviour is not normal.

Any advice would be good.

Sniffing Non Stop
by: Blossom

The same as 'Buddys' dog, my 11 month-old Working Cocker dog has taken to running around the garden non-stop sniffing obsessively, not interested in walkies or treats, heart pounding - very concerned! any ideas please?

Tennis Sniffer
by: Anonymous

My cocker spaniel will sniff wherever her ball has been. She takes a few minutes to bring the ball back because she sniffs its entire trail.

Unusual but she seems to enjoy herself!

My Cocker's A Hoover With 4 Legs!
by: Colin C

I should have called my cocker Dyson, because he can sniff out a biscuit ten miles away. He makes me laugh when that nose of his is down on the ground and his tail is going fifty to the dozen!

Sniffing Non Stop
by: Buddy

My 2.5 year old working cocker has suddenly started sniffing around the garden frantically. He is not interested in his food, going for a walk or anyone that walks into the garden. This is totally out of character, I am getting really worried about this as he is wearing himself out and can't seem to calm down when we finally manage to get him inside.

Does anyone have any advice?

Female Cocker Spaniel - Crazy Sniffing!
by: Rob

My cocker spaniel has just turned a year old and for the past 3 days now is infatuated sniffing the yard while on a cable run.

Her tail is wagging constantly and sniffing around in circles for hours at a time until I drag her back into the house.

I guess this is one of their "things" but I was getting worried there was something wrong. I guess its a natural thing?

by: Donna and Boris

Hi, we have a three year old male cocker, intact. We have had him for 1.5 years and he also does a lot of sniffing - it's just what he loves to do.

I have tried getting him interested in fetching a ball, but believe me if there are more interesting smells around he just gets distracted. Our neighbour's bitch has been on heat so his nose has been very busy!

Only his nose thankfully!

Sniffing Is Natural
by: Jules

My cocker spaniel, Duke, sniffs constantly.

I think it's natural for cockers to sniff - that's what they were bred for - picking up the scent of a bird and then following it until they found it. They'd then take it back (in their 'soft' mouths) to their 'masters'.

I wouldn't worry too much about your dog's sniffing - it sounds like he's enjoying himself!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Cocker Spaniel Q&As.

Enjoyed this page? Click 'Like'!

If you enjoyed this page, please click on the 'Like' button below and tell your friends about us. Thank you.

Top of Page