Do you dream of your dog having his very own wide open space? No leash required? Where there is freedom to run and play and sniff wherever he wants – in a safe location? For those of us who don’t have access to large open spaces for our dogs to explore off leash, a spot like that is a dream.

Well the dream has come true. It’s time to for off leash fun in Nashville with Sniffspot! As of this writing, we now have four new Sniffspots for you and your dog!

Dog enjoying off leash exploration in a wildflower field
Exploring a wildflower field off leash and happy!

What is Sniffspot?

Sniffspot is an app that helps connect dog owners to hosts with open spaces to take their pups for an off leash romp. According to creator David Adams, from Seattle, it could be considered “the Airbnb for dogs.”

David was inspired to create Sniffspot by having to look far and wide to find a safe dog park to take his dogs, Soba and Toshii. “Soba has had bad experiences at dog parks and Toshii is dog selective. Those are the two main problems I wanted to solve with private off leash space,” he explains.

With the encouragement of his girlfriend, Adams launched the app and website – and it took off by word of mouth. Now, there are Sniffspots in all locations across the county – with more being added all the time.

Those of you who have doggos who are rock steady and find dog parks a lot of fun may not understand the need to take your dog to a Sniffspot .Even if your dog loves playing with other canines, there’s definitely more reasons to use this incredible service than you might think…

Why Visit a Sniffspot?

  • Reactive dogs need a space of their own to explore, play with their owners one-on-one and train off leash without the distraction or stimulus of other dogs or people.
  • Safe Socialization is important for all dogs and especially puppies. You can schedule a Sniffspot with other dogs your pup is already comfortable with to give them their own private “dog park” to interact.
  • Training recalls and long distance work off leash that require large spaces and a secure location.
  • Sensory enrichment is so important for our dogs. Most of the time our dogs are kept on leash or let outside in the same old, same old – an area they see every day. A Sniffspot allows them a new place to explore at their own pace, discover what is interesting to them and just be a dog!

There are some truly amazing Sniffspots out there. From indoor spaces, fenced acreage with agility equipment and even mountainside hiking – there is something for everyone!

So How Does it Work?

Simple. You download the app to your phone (iOS or Android) then browse the map showing your local Sniffspots. Click on one to find out details and read reviews. Then schedule a time to visit. It’s that easy.

Hosting

Maybe you already own fenced acreage and think, nah, I’m good. Well…maybe you’d like to consider becoming a Sniffspot Host and make some extra income with your property?

Sniffspot is ALWAYS looking for more community willing to open up their spaces for dog owners.

Fran Thomas is a very popular Sniffspot Host. Located 30 miles from Seattle, she may see an average of ten guests per week during good weather. It’s easy to see why she enjoys this opportunity.

A beautiful field for off leash play at Fran Thomas Sniffspot in WA
One of Fran’s fields at the Thomas Sniffspot

“Every single guest we’ve hosted reinforces the decision we made to offer our property as a Sniffspot.  Each guest is unique in their needs. We have learned so much about the different dog breed needs. It’s so enjoyable to learn about them. Our goal is to deliver a wonderful experience to everybody so our Sniff Spot is always a work in progress, and we love it that way.”

Three dogs enjoy a game of tug off leash at a Sniffspot hosted by Fran Thomas
Off leash fun with friends at Fran’s Sniffspot
Dog enjoying some relaxing off leash time at Fran Thomas Sniffspot
Happy guest enjoying Fran Thomas’ Sniffspot

If you’re contemplating opening your property as a Sniffspot, you might have some concerns about liability and safety issues. David has you covered. “Sniffspot is very safe to use compared to a public dog park, but it can feel risky to share with others. Sniffspot was designed to create an environment of trust for our hosts and guests.”

Fran Thomas agrees. “Having done my homework on Sniff Spot, I was confident that David had taken precautionary measures to protect the host. David has an insurance policy which protects the hosts from potential guest damages to property or guest injury as in ‘twisting” and ankle on the host’s property or damages to the property from the human or pup guests…”

Our First Sniff

With our postage stamp-size backyard, we are always and forever on the lookout for safe areas for play and off leash training.

You see, we’ve had some not-so-pleasant (and downright dangerous) experiences at dog parks. We’ve faced aggressive dogs, irresponsible owners and simple accidents that have left big impressions on Chloe.

Dog parks are a rarity for us.

That doesn’t mean we stop trying to find large areas for Chloe to get in some run time. The challenge is the risks you face by being off leash in unsecured areas. Wildlife abounds. Strange dogs may be present – and may or may not be friendly. And then there are leash laws in effect.

Yet the benefits of off leash exploring for dogs is so important to their health and well-being, many dog owners are willing to take the risks.

Dog enjoying off leash play in a wet field at a Sniffspot
Off leash is important

Not bragging here (maybe just a bit) as it was my post to our Nextdoor list that produced one of the first Sniffspots in Nashville. Someone in our community took the initiative and became a Host. And what a bonus for me – this Sniffspot was only 5 minutes from our house.

We were so excited to see that Sniffspot on the app we booked the same day. Our Host gave detailed instructions on how to find their property, what to expect once we got there and we were off!

Dog bringing back her frisbee for another throw at a Sniffspot
A game of frisbee
Dog chasing a frisbee thrown in the air at a Sniffspot
Plenty of off leash play at a Sniffspot
Dog exploring off leash along a small creek at a Sniffspot
Plenty of off leash time to just be a dog.

Network, Network, Network

If Sniffspot sounds like an idea you can get behind, and you’d like to see more of them in your area, then share away! Share the information to people you know who have secure land available. Share on social media, your neighborhood bulletin boards like Nextdoor or talk to people at pet stores, your vet’s office, etc.

Word of mouth is a great way for Sniffspot to grow organically. We can all use more dog-friendly areas and ways to enhance and enrich the lives of our best four-legged friends.

To learn more why off leash time is essential for your dog’s well-being read this from The Cognitive Canine and Sarah Stremming.

More on Sniffspot in the news.

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