Dogs get bored! Most times they get bored because their experiences and stimulation are limited. They are stuck in the house alone all day while you are at work. When you come home, you give your dog a quick pat and some scratches but you have so much to do: cook dinner, housework, help the kids with homework, and you just want to sit for an hour or two to relax after a long day. What about your dog? What did he do all day?
While you were out all day and had a day full of activities, you dog was confined to his own house and yard. How much fun could that be? When your dog becomes too bored, he will find ways to occupy his time which leads to unwanted or destructive behaviors.
My dog is bored, what should I do?
To alleviate your dogs boredom you need to enrich your dog’s life. You can do this through exercise, training, games, and socialization.
The best way to help reduce your dog’s boredom is through exercise. Take your dog for daily walks. By getting your dog outside of his home and yard, he is able to experience scents, sounds, and sights that he is not familiar with. This stimulates all his senses as well as keeps him physically fit.
Take alternating routes so your dog has more experiences. Daily walks together also helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
If you are too busy during the day for daily dog walks, invest in a dog walker. A dog walker will come in every day while you are at work and give your dog a much needed potty break as well as a good walk. (Why should I hire a dog walker?)
Training is a good way to mentally stimulate your dog. Your dog wants and needs something to do. Challenging your dog mentally with new tricks or commands can lead to a more relaxed dog.
Enroll in a force free training program. A good place to search for a trainer is The Pet Professional Guild. There are also several great training videos on line such as Victoria Stilwell dog training videos.
Dogs love to play games. Games provide mental challenges and stimulate dogs natural instincts of chase, search, and tug. Fun games to play with your dog are find it, tug, and fetch. Ace, my Doberman loves to play find it. We use treats or toys but he prefers his favorite toy because when he finds it there is lots of praise and a game of tug.
There are also interactive puzzles and games that you can leave with your dog. These games allow you to hide a treat and your dog must use memory and scent to figure out how to get the treat.
Dogs are social and love being with other people and dogs. Dogs enjoy having off leash play time. Chasing and romping around with other canines will tire your dog out mentally and physically. Doggie daycares are an excellent way to allow your dog to enjoy spending time with other dogs. These facilities are often monitored and require immunizations to be up to date. An alternative to doggie day care is to arrange play dates with one of your friends.
Keeping your dog actively stimulated is just as important to their health and well being as feeding them a proper, nutritional diet and regular vet check ups. Your pet depends on you.
What will you do today to enrich your dog’s life?