Do Dogs Get Bored? Here’s What You Need To Know
Much like humans, dogs are social animals, and they thrive in the company of others. But due to work commitments and busy, hectic lifestyles, many owners can find it difficult to spend enough time with their dog during the week.
Because of this fact, it comes as no surprise that destructive or bored behavior can begin to occur faster than you may have thought – and once it starts – this behavior can often grow worse over time. Therefore, it’s crucial to tackle the problem head-on before it spirals out of control.
So what can you do to entertain a dog who’s bored and hopefully stop any destructive behavior this can cause? In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the main signs of boredom you might see in your dog, and we’ll also give you some tips and advice on how to keep your dog happier in the day.
Understand It’s Not Your Dog’s Fault
If you’ve come home to find your dog has been destructive while you were out, then please don’t think your dog has done this as an “act of revenge” for being left alone.
Dogs are incapable of carrying out premeditated crimes against you and your possessions, so it’s important to understand that your dog simply doesn’t think in this way! So first of all, it’s important to have some compassion for the predicament your dog is in when they’re feeling bored or lonely, even if it can be frustrating to clean up the mess they may have created.
Common Signs Of Boredom
So what kind of signs will show you that your dog is bored? While it will likely vary depending on your dog’s breed and overall personality, some of the most common signs will include behaviors such as howling, digging, destroying things, jumping, and pacing back and forth.
Fortunately, you can often prevent a great deal of destructive behavior and other problems related to boredom simply by providing natural outlets for your dog’s physical and mental needs.
Additionally, once the boredom is reduced, you may find that many of the other behavior problems you’re having with your dog are resolved naturally, without needing specific training for each issue. In many cases, dog owners can be surprised to see how much their dog’s general behavior improves once they’re tired out from activity!
Digging is a very common behavior for many dog breeds, and some pooches will really appreciate having an outlet for this enjoyable activity. Your dog may dig for several different reasons. Perhaps they want to bury a bone or a toy, or maybe they’re digging out of frustration. Just as you’d expect, the later can be a sign of boredom, so having a specific area set aside in your yard for your dog to dig safely can be a great way to help your dog satisfy this urge.
It’s also worth noting that your dog is much less likely to dig when they have a full stomach! So if you feed your dog at the right time, they’ll feel less motivation to dig at the wrong times. If your dog is left alone in the daytime, try feeding them in the morning instead of the evening and see whether this calms them down somewhat.
If you have left your dog alone for longer than they’re comfortable with, they may howl for attention, or even in an effort to communicate with other dogs in the area.
Your dog may also be doing this due to separation anxiety, which is caused by when they feel abandoned, so they’re alerting anyone nearby that they’ve been forgotten about.
If your dog persistently barks and howls when you leave them alone, training them to respond appropriately to the ‘quiet’ command may work for a short while, but ultimately it’s best to address the issue at its root cause and find a way for your dog to experience some company. In fact, many people find that hiring a local dog walker can go a long way towards giving their dog some extra fun activity, and this will not only ease the boredom, it may tire them out enough to stop many of the unwanted behaviors, too.
If your dog is left in a yard by themselves with nothing to do, then certain breeds will quickly start jumping to look over a fence or something similar, in a rhythmic manner, and this is often common with highly energetic dogs. Again, the best solution for this kind of boredom-fueled behavior is to ensure your dog is getting more exercise, so they can simply enjoy a few hours of relaxing recovery sleep, rather than having the energy for jumping! A dog walker can be very useful for energetic breeds if you’re not around in the day to occupy them.
Dogs can be very destructive when they want to be, but rather than punishing your dog for damaging your stuff, it’s important to understand the underlying issue that has led to the behavior, especially if you want to make a permanent change that makes your dog happy. Furthermore, destructive behavior is usually most common in under-exercised dogs, so arranging your schedule so that you can walk your dog earlier in the day can be a great way to burn off some of the excess energy they have left over for destroying things!
Useful Cures For Boredom
It’s safe to say that one of the most effective ways to cure doggie boredom is with exercise.
Physical activity is the best way to cure boredom for most dogs, as this burns up their excess energy, so they simply won’t have the energy to be destructive or engage in unwanted behaviors. Above all, remember to give your dog daily walks, and if you have a very energetic dog, then they may greatly benefit from a walk earlier in the day, along with another walk later in the evening.
Of course, it’s always worth investing in some interactive dog toys, which will give your dog some greater mental stimulation and help to alleviate boredom.
Another good investment is DogTV, which is a television channel designed to occupy and relax dogs. In general, the channel features a variety of short programs that will keep your dog happy for short periods of time. Many dogs will find these shows fascinating, and it can often help to reduce their boredom to some degree.
Most importantly, it’s crucial to make time for your dog. Don’t forget that dogs are social animals, and they crave the fun, excitement, and satisfaction that comes from interacting with other dogs and humans.
If you’re often busy with work and live a hectic lifestyle, then it’ll be even more important to schedule some time just for your dog, so you can bond and interact with each other and generally enjoy each other’s company, which is one of the best aspects of dog ownership in the first place.
Finally, if you’re often out of the house in the day, then it can be a smart investment to hire a dog walker who can provide your dog with some additional fun and excitement during the day when you’re not around. Ultimately, it’s a small price to pay for giving your dog a much happier and enjoyable life.