Provided by: Amber Kingsley – Amber Kingsley is a journalist as well as a lifetime pet lover. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s usually spending time at home with her pets, and wants to help others make sure that their pets are as happy as they can be.
Dogs are pretty responsive creatures, and benefit from attention and action. As you’re dog training and taking care of your dog, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your dog active.
Boredom does affect dogs and exhibits itself in a variety of ways. It may be as apparent as destructive behavior, such as tearing up shoes or furniture, getting into the trash, being uncooperative or generally flat-out disobeying dog training commands. Bored dogs may beg at the table, pace in anxiety or howl, sleep too much.
In any case, it may be that you’re not giving your dog the attention he needs in some area. When you don’t occupy your dog–or rather, occupy yourself with your dog–he or she will get somewhere between too passive and destructive.
Walking is essential for dogs to not become bored. A well-behaved trained dog is one that gets to go outside and learn about the world. A “less-trained” and less-occupied one will pace the house and not follow commands as well.
It’s essential that your dog smells outside air at least once a day. Not doing so can have short term effects like laziness or inattention. If not taken care of it could also cause long-term effects exhibited in behavioral problems.
Walking serves as bonding time with your dog, making him more reliant on you and obedient to your will–you’re literally leading him around. More than that, being outside is vastly entertaining and stimulating for your dog, giving him input as well as calling for action. Its also a great time for dog training!
Playtime is another bonding experience, and also serves as basic enrichment for your dog’s quality of life. See what kinds of toys or games appeal to your canine, and try around different ones. Not all dogs fetch, but some like to play tug. Playtime is another way to give your dog a chance to get tired or calm.
There are many exercises and lifestyle changes you can make. Try to challenge your dog, and challenge yourself to work with him.
- New Tricks: Who ever said an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Teaching pets to respond to tricks with repeated cues (and treats), is an excellent idea for boredom since it tests your dogs brain and Pavlovian sense of memory.
- Socializing: Dogs like to meet other dogs. It brings them new information in the form of unfamiliar smells and dog-on-dog interaction. Dogs may try to play with other dogs, so if you don’t have more than one canine companion, be sure to allow them them to meet and play with new dogs. For example, you can take your dog to dog parks or train them for car rides so you can take them along with you on errands and visits other places. For MORE dog/dog social tips see THIS.
Your dog may need special attention depending on what kind of breed or temper. For example, breeds like German Shepherds or Border Collies are very intelligent and job driven, while smaller dogs often have a lot of energy. In addition, dogs do have different personalities and drives.
Dogs don’t have the ability to walk themselves or find amusement for them. Just like they rely on you for everything, part of the care and keeping of your dog is making sure he isn’t bored.
Since 2005, Mark Siebel has trained over 6000 satisfied K’9’s and customers alike. The goal has always been to show owners how to properly integrate their dog into the home setting. Consulting on what breed of dog to buy, where to buy/rescue from, preparing your home for your new puppy and health/nutrition are just a few ways DOGGIE STEPS helps its customers.