What is a Sniffari?

Imagine you have popped an old fashioned lolly in your mouth that explodes with blast of flavours after sucking on it. All of a sudden there is a rainbow of flavours and your mouth and it is exciting trying to figure out the different tastes. Well a sniffari is exactly that for your dog’s senses. So many sniffs and experiences all day at each stop. Dogs experience the world through smell as they have over 200 million olfactory receptors (whereas us mere humans only have about 6 million), so with those numbers alone, our dog’s noses are so much more powerful. Dogs not only need physical exercise for enjoyment they need mental stimulation, which comes from exploring new places and new sniffs. The key to a relaxed and happy dog is letting them sniff.

Doggy Trek

The Sniffaris are deliberately designed to give dogs a combination of physical and mental stimulation. The walks are easy grade, with lots of shorter options if that is required. We visit a range of places, so each stop is an explosion of new smells that will invigorate their minds through the sense of smell. Providing your dog a new adventure with different smells keeps them entertained and happy.

All our Dog Friendly Experiences are boutique small group adventures. The Sniffaris are carefully designed with hours of planning and they involve walks, an trip on a train or ferry and human picnic with relaxing time for the pooches. There is always some off leash time whether at a beach or a park for those who want to go an sniff at their own pace. This time is always optional and our team are on hand to assist if this is the first time off lead and some guidance is required.

Each Sniffari starts with some safe essential dog socialisation before we board Bella The Dog Bus. A simple activity for the dogs to get to know each other is important before getting on board. This gives them a chance to understand the other dogs around them through their sense of smell. It provides a chance for them to shake off any excited energy and to feel safe. If we didn’t do this and just hopped on board straight away, the smells of both humans and other dogs, could be overwhelming and what was excitement could turn into nervousness.

On Bella, there is a carefully set out seating plan so the dogs get the window seat and their fur-parent gets the aisle. This provides a ‘barrier’ for the dogs as each dog comes along the aisle, almost as if their human was protecting them until they get use the environment.  In the dog world of communication, this is called ‘splitting’, where a barrier to the new smell is provided so they can experience it safely.

Bella The Dog Welcoming Bus

Gourmet Pawprints has a Philosophy of “Happy, Healthy and Safe” dog and human interactions and it is why we have a Diploma in Canine Communication (behaviour) and a Certificate of Canine Nutrition to ensure everything we do is allowing dogs to be dogs and just enjoy their adventures with us.

On the Around The Bay Sniffari, we visit an off leash park in Geelong for morning tea and this a chance to roam around and explore a new park at their leisure. Back on Bella, we know from experience the dogs are now so calm, as they have had the chance to be stimulated from new surroundings. We then venture down to Point Lonsdale and the walk to Queenscliff includes off leash beach time. This is one of the most rewarding experiences for doggos, as they not only get to play with their new friends but also to swim or wade in the water all with the sea smell keeping their little minds challenged with so many smells. The picnic lunch is chance for the dogs to relax while their humans enjoy an individual basket of goodies. We provide the picnic blankets to sprawl out on- well the dogs spread out, maybe they save some space for their human? After lunch, we board the Ferry to Sorrento and the dogs get to not only see the sights from the top deck, the wind is in their fur and importantly their noses. Watching their noses twitch with excitement is so much fun. At Sorrento there is an option to explore the park area at your own pace or join in the walk along Millionaire’s Row which follows the cliffs of Sorrento and all the amazing sights and smells it has to offer. On the journey home, all we can hear is dogs snoring (and yes some humans too!). and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Around The Bay

The Daylesford Sniffari kicks off with picking up morning tea from an iconic cafe in Trentham and then Bella scooting off to Trentham Falls to enjoy it.  Before visiting the falls, we enjoy morning tea and the dogs get some off leash time to take in the forest smells and meet their new friends. The short walk to falls offers the dogs a chance to explore take in whatever the wind blows their way. Next stop is Lake Daylesford with a choice of walking distances and the incredible scenery (OK that one is for the humans!), there is even a chance for a dogs to take a dip in the lake after their walk to cool off. The picnic lunch  is enjoyed on the banks of Lake Daylesford  with a basket of ever changing goodies. Back on board Bella, it is only a short drive to Daylesford train station where we board the historic train for trip through the spa country. Dogs can sit on the train seats and pop their noses out the windows to take in the smells of the countryside. We often arrive at Daylesford train station early enough to be able to wander their Sunday market before getting on the train. With little paws weary and twitchy noses slowing down, the journey home on Bella is for snoozing, whether it is 2 or 4 legs!


So our Sniffaris are the adventure to provide your dog with a Happy, Healthy and Safe experience that will excite their senses, after all they deserve it.

Book a Sniffari HERE and read more about Canine Communication HERE