When my pup became 6 months old, he was entering into puberty and wanted to sniff and “mark” everything! I used treats and positive reinforcement to distract him and move him along. When he was marking every pole and fire hydrant, I didn’t reward those with treats, but rather encouraged him to move along and then gave him a treat for every block he successfully walked.
Understand why your dog is sniffing. Sometimes sniffing can indicate nervousness, so try to understand why your dog is behaving a certain way. Do not jump to conclusions or use punishment in any way.
Another cause for pause is other dogs! Can your dog meet every other dog on the street? Where we live, we run into at least 3 other dogs on each walk. We let our dog say hello to everyone while he was in socialization phase, but also understand that your dog’s safety is first. Once, a homeless dog ran out and tried to attack my dog out of nowhere, and I had to scoop him up before anything bad happened – so beware! There are unsafe creatures out there, so be prepared to keep an eye out for them and to rescue your dog.
You should find the right balance between how much you and your dog should be allowed to stop and explore vs. keep walking along. Think of window shopping with your spouse… how many times should she be allowed to stop and look into the window displays vs. continue walking without pause? The world is filled with distractions, smells, and sensory overload. Have some empathy for your pup while ensuring that you strike that balance.