Overcoming Your Dog’s Boredom

Dogs are a lot like children. They need stimulation or they will get bored and we all know the trouble children can be when they get bored.

Bored dogs are generally unhappy dogs and they are also the dogs that are most likely to get into trouble with other animals and humans. The happiest dogs are often the working dogs as they not only have a purpose in life but they also get the praise and regular attention of their owners.

Even simply getting your dog some toys of it’s own to play with can add a lot of fun and happiness to it’s life, but more importantly getting the dog involved in family activities will have a positive effect on it’s mental state and happiness. Dogs love to be taken for walks or a run along the beach. They get to look at a different environment and interact with strangers and other dogs.

This social interaction is very important for the overall well being of your dog and it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis. One of the benefits of dog training schools is the fact that your dog will get to interact with other dogs, however training your dog at home also has it’s benefits as you will be learning each others personalities when working closely together and your dog will still get the opportunity to socialize with other dogs when you take it for walks in the park and similar activities.

Any time spent with your dog, whether it is training or just enjoying playtime, is great for building a long and happy relationship.  

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Your Dog’s Boredom”

  1. I don’t know if leaving a comment in the form of describing an issue with hopes a reply may follow, but here we go.

    I am a single father with a 7 year old son who is with me pretty much 50% of the time and his mother the other half. I work from home, so am around a lot (at least 65% of the day). A year ago we rescued a beautiful American Eskimo mix, Ellie, that was around 12 months old now making her 24 months old at best guess. For the most part, she is a wonderful dog, great with my son and very intelligent learning multiple tricks and commands in very short order. With still some continued attention to reinforcing her commands, most recently she has started chewing stuff out of the garbage in my office when I leave, or napkin/paper towel that may have been left on an end table in the living room, and now she has taken it upon herself to make her way into my son’s toy box and has started finding toys of her liking to sink her teeth into. She is not teething by any means, gets quite a bit of attention and gets a regular rawhide for her chewing pleasure. This has become a daily routine for her and is becoming very, very frustrating to the point I need some outside adivce if there is any to give.



  2. Going through the same thing myself with a 2-year-old Chug, Greg.

    Assuming you’re doing the basics — walks for at least a half-hour daily, basic dog training, exercise and play — what’s working (so far) for me is the following:

    My garbage cans don’t live anywhere that the dog can get at them any more. Before the dog learned to jump up on the counter, they lived there; now they’re locked away in a closet.

    Anything on an end table is probably fair game to the dog, and they love napkins to shred. You’re going to need to be vigilant that your house is picked up of such things, or confine the dog to a specific area.

    Use child-proofing devices, if possible, to puppy-proof your son’s toybox. At 7, he should be able to bypass the proofing, so he’ll be able to get at his stuff. Get the product at Target, for under $5. The threat of the dog chewing up his favorite toys can also be an incentive for the valuable lesson of your son picking up after himself.

    Provide your dog with “interactive” toys — toys that will provide a treat if he can figure out how to get at them. They tend to be expensive (like other pet products these days), so if that’s an issue, feel free to improvise with size-appropriate milk cartons, cleaned and dried out and then cut small holes in the side for treat dispensation. Also cut up old towels into softer toys that your dog can basically chew up and mistreat instead of something you don’t want him to have (take a look at tug toys for your inspiration). There are other ideas out there, too, on YouTube.

    There are also sites out there advocating the “no free lunch” approach to feeding time, and I like the results of that. You can use it as an opportunity to teach your dog “sit,” “down,” and — especially — “STAY.” Sit him, stay him, and then go through some commands for a bit until you decide he’s had enough and then let him “Go Get ‘Em.” Or, you can bypass the food bowl entirely and literally throw the kibbles on the floor. The dog will have to hunt for his food, which will engage him while he’s on hunt. Trust me, he still gets EVERY BIT of the food you’ve thrown down for him.

    Hope that might help.

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