Have you Heard of Sniffspot?

If you have not heard about Sniffspot then let me introduce you to this great concept! Sniffspot is a website and app that gives dog owners an opportunity to rent participating private backyards and acreages who want space to exercise their dogs OFF LEASH!  Unlike public dog parks which can be very unsanitary and uncertain, your dog will have the whole space to themselves or you can invite other dog friends to join for a play date in a neutral setting.  It’s a great opportunity to practice training exercises, play, or just sit and enjoy a new setting.

Belle and Sufi approved!

This is a great alternative for families with reactive dogs who become overstimulated by other dogs, or dogs who have anxiety and become overwhelmed.  Part of my advice to clients has always been to take their dogs to new places for new scents and experiences.  Sniffspot may be a great addition to your regimen!

This location is a farm setting we explored with 2 acres fully fenced in.

Each Sniffspot is a unique private property.  Some are small fenced-in backyards and others are acreages. Some properties are in town and others are rural. Not every Sniffspot is fenced in and you are advised to read the profile to be sure it is suitable for your needs. You can rent spaces for 1-hour blocks and rates are set by the property owner. I have seen some rates as low as $6.00  and as high as $12.00 per dog per hour, but these can change.  There can also be options for 50% off the second dog and so on.  When you rent a time slot no one else can rent that time so you are assured the space is yours!

Depending on your location you may or may not see Sniffspots near you, but keep checking since new spots become available as property owners join.

Here are a few basic recommendations to make your experience safe and fun when visiting a property:

  • Take time to investigate properties for anything which can be harmful to your dog before releasing your dog on the property.  
  • Check the fencing to be sure it is secure and has no holes for your dog to get out.
  • Check for any plants in the landscape that may be harmful to your dog.
  • Bring your own water.  Water is sometimes provided but sudden changes in water can upset a dog’s digestive system.
  • Check for snakes.
  • Pick up the poop!  (Be a good guest!)
  • Make sure all gates are closed, before releasing your dog.  Unlike dog parks that have double gate entries, private properties do not have this feature.
  • You can also read Sniffspots Trust Page for more guidance.

The benefit of experiencing new places with your dog(s) are immense and Sniffspot is giving people and their dogs new opportunities for enrichment and getting that energy out!

And finally…this is simply my review of Sniffpot, I am not associated with Sniffspot and not receiving any compensation from Sniffspot for writing this post. I am just sharing my thoughts on what appears to be a cool idea.

Have a great day!

Belle interacting with 3 deer

Here we have Belle watching 3 young deer, one female, and 2 males. Belle is relaxed with no tension on the leash. All three are curious about us, but also wary, so there is a bit of an internal tug-o-war happening inside them. There is a moment when the female nudges one of the males to hang back at a safer distance and he does so, which I find very interesting. Then after a few moments, Belle lays down and throws her hips to the side, to present herself to the female deer at an angle, in a relaxed and non-threatening pose. This was communication, through body language, between 2 species and I felt privileged to witness.

Being non-reactive to wildlife

Clouds are rolling in the distance and a whispering breeze smells of rain. A young male deer is relaxing downwind from Belle, but I doubt we would stir him if he caught our scent. These deer live in an urban paradise of slow traffic and well-manicured gardens, full of food, tended by gardeners who mumble about them under their breath. Belle definitely smells him though and if she were to chase after him he would most certainly leap away with his tail in the air. I told Belle to down and wait. Allowing a moment of calm to happen then called her towards me so we could walk on. At first, I was speaking a bit too quiet for Belle to hear me clearly, but once she did, she calmly gets up and walks away then gives me a look for confirmation. I give her a pat on the side for a job well done. Hounds were bred for endless chases and it takes work to blunt this drive, but it can be done. I am not a hunter by any means. If I shoot anything, it’s with a camera. But if I were to hunt, I would not aim for this result. Hounds were developed for massive energy to exhaust their quarry, run it up a tree, and tell the hunter where they are with endless loud bays that can be heard for miles.. However, more hounds are finding their way to suburban neighborhoods and cities and will never be on a hunt, So we must help condition them to be less reactive to this innate drive, for their safety and the owner’s sanity.

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