We have an 18 month old female German Shepherd. She loves to chase balls and play fetch in general. However, when we throw the ball, she runs to ball, noses it, and then sniffs all around the ball for a couple of minutes before picking it up and bringing it back. She'll range in circle about 10 yards around the ball while sniffing. She'll even sniff up tree trunks. This is not a problem by any means. However, we've never seen a pup/dog act this way before. We're just curious as to what might be behind this behavior and if the behavior is semi-common. We've always had dogs with us and never seen this behavior before. Our friends who are dog people have never seen it before either. Thanks in advance for any input.