From Chill Out Fido!: How to Calm Your Dog (Dogwise Training Manual) by Nan Kene Arthur
The best way to explain this would be for you to consider all the things your dog could be doing besides sniffing the ground, sitting, or lying down-such as jumping up on you, harking at you, whining, chewing his leash, etc. You are rewarding those spaces in time when your dog is actually doing an acceptable behavior (exhibiting relaxed behaviors) in contrast to the ones most people do not want! As you reward these calm moments, the calmness will start to grow stronger because, as you have learned, dogs repeat bethat result in rewards.