Sniff out the perfect playtime for your pup

COVID-19 led to a surge in dog ownership, with many Aussies seeking love and companionship from a furry friend. As our hearts melted, the sudden influx of puppy and rescue pets created issues with proper training and socialisation for our new family members, creating a generation of unruly fur babies!

Lara Shannon, leading Australian dog trainer and pet behaviour specialist says, “During the pandemic, new dog owners faced challenges accessing training and socialisation services for their dogs.

“This was particularly true for first-time puppy owners, who were faced with the task of training their new pet alone.

“Owners of rescue dogs also struggled to find support with addressing some of their dogs’ behavioural issues.”

Shannon explains that demand for these services is still high post-pandemic and many owners continue to struggle to address the issues that arose from the lack of access to these services during lockdowns.

She has also seen the over-socialisation of some dogs during lockdowns result in unmanageable behaviour.

Dog parks are often touted as a great place for dogs to socialise, but for dogs that are anxious, unsure, or a little overexuberant, they are not always ideal. This is particularly true for small dogs, which may be intimidated by larger breeds.

Thankfully, a novel solution has been introduced to Australia to address this problem and it means that fur parents can find more private, enriching spaces for their dogs. It’s called SniffSpace.

SniffSpace is an online marketplace where hosts rent out their yards and private land to dog owners. The space is exclusive and booked by the hour so that pawrents and pups can enjoy a distraction-free environment, perfect for safe and controlled dog socialisation.

That is unless you’ve invited your pup’s friends to come along – puppy party anyone?

Shannon thinks that SniffSpace is a great idea and long overdue: “SniffSpace is ideal for reactive dogs and high-energy breeds that need off-leash space to stretch their legs and expend some energy before owners can get into some obedience work.

“Small dogs that are intimidated by their bigger brothers and sisters can also let their fur down and play or train with a greater feeling of security.”

One of the unique features of SniffSpace is the wide range of properties available, from farms with creeks (and dog washes) to canine lagoon pools!

Property types are grouped as follows: Sniffari, ball sports, water sports, frisbee, running free, or agility – what’s not to love?

With the help of SniffSpace and a community of generous hosts, you and Pup can have a fun day out, and also revisit some of those obedience items you’ve both been wanting to tick off your pup’s bucket list!

To find a space in your local area or for more information on becoming a host, visit