A dogs sense of direction and the importance of taking your dog for a walk

dogs sense of direction

Have you ever wondered how your dog orientates himself and explores the world around him? If you want to make your four legged friend very happy, take them different places on your daily walks, don’t just bring them him on the same route every time! If you bring him new places, he will be really excited! This will give your dog the opportunity, thanks to his extraordinary sense of smell, to explore a rich environment of new and unusual smells! We will find out more about the sense of direction in dogs, and explore why walking the dog is very important. We’ll also find out how do dogs find their way home when they wander off!

How do dogs find their way home?

A dogs sense of smell allows them to explore the world around them, mapping it and giving it a specific meaning. Unlike the human being who primarily uses his sense of sight; the dog uses his nose to orient himself and explore to the world. Rest assured that if your dog has had the opportunity to sniff around your home, they likely won’t have a hard time finding their way back to the house if they happen to get lost!

If you decide to bring your friend into a new environment, you will see that he will be very excited and perhaps reluctant to come home. All odors linger, and your dog will certainly be able to sense other dogs  through sniffing and will know exactly who visited that area before him.

how do dogs find their way home

Sense of direction in dogs and canine communication

If a dog smells something particularly interesting, it’s not unusual for him to pee on it. This is like ‘leaving a message’ to his fellow canines, like “Fluffy was here”. If the other animal he is smelling was in heat, the message might be “hey pretty lady, I’m available!” or “this is my territory”. Trees can be considered as a kind of social network for dogs , message boards where you can leave “post” of various kinds.

In fact, if you observe carefully as the dog sniffs trees and flower beds when you go for a walk with him, you will be surprised in the encounter as his canine behavior is similar to yours when you turn on your PC and check what your friends wrote on your preferred social network.

dog communication

Why take your dog for a walk

Letting your dog explore is key in giving him a rewarding life. Dogs must not remain permanently in the apartment or in the garden where now know every blade of grass. The frustration the dog feels when you prevent him from exploring new environments can lead to fatigue, canine depression, destructive hyperactivity (such as digging holes in the garden), continuous barking and many other behavioral problems in dogs .

Finally, given the frustration from lack of exploration a dog may compensate with frantic cleaning of the coat, such as obsessive licking, going so far as to cause injury or wounds. So heed our warning- never deprive your dog of long and interesting walks. It’s not only good for his physical and mental health, it’s good for yours too!