How to Stop Dog Boredom and Why It Happens

Puppy eating toilet paper

Being sociable animals, dogs can easily become bored if not given enough attention. Dogs who are bored can seek out intriguing activities, but oftentimes such activities can be unsafe for your pet or even detrimental to your property.

Although it's not difficult to recognize the symptoms of canine ennui, the busy owner may find it difficult to cope with the behavior. It will be up to you to come up with strategies to persuade your dog to redirect its energy into more useful channels unless you have children or other canines to pick up the slack.

Why Do Dogs Get Bored?

Keep in mind that happy, healthy puppies and dogs don't have an off-switch. Your dog may grow angry and behave inappropriately if it is bored because it isn't receiving enough playtime, exercise, or interaction with you. Several guidelines to remember are as follows:

  • Problem behaviors that are practiced repeatedly become ingrained and can be more difficult to stop. This is why it’s important that you give your dog lots of opportunities to express themselves in positive ways. It's just as important to make sure you teach your pup early on what behaviors aren't acceptable.
  • A puppy that's introduced into a multi-dog household has the advantage of having playmates to hold its attention. Of course, bored youngsters may also pester and annoy an older dog.
  • Keeping solo pups entertained always falls to the humans in the house. Engaging appropriately with your pup not only keeps it physically active and healthy but also stimulates its brain in productive ways through .
  • Most dogs want a job to do and are happiest when they’re busy. It’s up to you to find ways to keep your pup occupied.

Signs of Boredom in Puppies 

A large percentage of “bad” behaviors in a dog are just the dog's way of expressing boredom:

  • A puppy that's bored when left alone in a fenced yard, for example, may turn to or just to hear the sound of its voice.
  • Another dog may decide to its way under the backyard fence to seek more exciting things to do. Digging is a common sign of boredom and one of the tougher canine habits to break.
  • A dog or puppy often , which can get it into a heap of trouble when it doesn’t have access to enough suitable objects to chew.

How to Stop Boredom

You know your dog best. Try a few different strategies to stimulate your dog. There's no harm in trying a few techniques at once. It's likely that actively aiming to stop the boredom will help.

New Toys

With the same old toy every day, puppies become bored. Make sure each dog has a variety of toys if you have many dogs. So they won't have to fight over them, aim for three to four minimum per pet. Even preferable are eight or ten toys for a solitary puppy. To keep the toys fresh, rotate them. Every two to three days, on a set timetable, switch out the toys.

Provide Stimulation

Offer your dog puzzle toys that will hold his attention for extended periods of time, such as the Orbee Tuff Mazee. Favorite toys are those that have places to tuck away food. For even more boredom alleviation, you may switch up the type of goodie. Cream cheese, liverwurst, peanut butter, and professionally made snacks all function.

Help Them Chew

Offer possibilities for "legal" chewing as well. A dog of any age may chew to relieve stress or boredom, unlike teething pups who need to nibble on something to soothe their fragile gums. As long as you're present to watch, rawhide chews, dental chews, and other safe chewing choices for dogs like sterilized bones (if your veterinarian agrees) may provide a more acceptable outlet.

Get Outside

Terriers like digging in the soil. A bored terrier could unroot your potted palm if there isn't a place for it to go in search of soil. Provide your dog with a sandbox and some favorite toys to bury for their digging amusement to prevent this. Your dog will be less likely to attempt to dig where it might do harm if it has a designated area where it is allowed to do so.

Toy Alternatives

Your dog might want to watch a video or listen to music. When you must leave the house, set the TV to an animal show so your dog may enjoy watching squirrel antics. Another possibility is that the bored dog might enjoy watching caged pocket critters like hamsters, mice, fish, or birds. Just make sure the smaller animals are secure and not frightened by your puppy's longing gaze.

Hone the Senses

Additionally, nose work might keep your bored puppy out of mischief. The pup uses all of its senses and its paws while sniffing for goodies. Make a canine treasure hunt by scattering obnoxious crumbs for Hansel and Gretel to chase in order to get the prize. Before you leave for the day, hide dry dog biscuits or stuffed Kongs throughout the home (or yard). If your puppy fails the sniff test, be careful to pick them up so bugs won't locate them. Show your dog where you buried the goodies the first time; after that, let its nose take care of the rest. With hunting dogs like and Labrador retrievers, this is very effective.

Safe Togetherness

It's preferable to keep a new puppy and an adult apart until you are certain that they get along. Install a baby gate to keep the dogs apart but enable them to see each other so they don't feel so lonely and bored if being alone causes your puppy to cry and whimper. As a result, there could be less barking, clawing, and door-digging.

Planning ahead to keep your pup entertained can prevent boredom that breeds bad habits. That has a tendency to keep everyone tail-wagging happy.