5 Signs Your Dog Is Bored—And What To Do About It

Modern Dog - - CONTENTS - BY TEOTI AN­DER­SON

A bored dog is of­ten a “bad” dog, plus, you want your dog to be happy! Here’s how to tell if your dog is bored and how to keep him oc­cu­pied even if you’re at the of­fice all day.

Life can’t be one long dog park visit, but does your dog un­der­stand that? Prob­a­bly not. The re­al­ity is that many dogs stay at home while their peo­ple are at work dur­ing the day. Rather than whine around the house com­plain­ing there’s noth­ing to do, your home-alone dog may be stir­ring up trouble.

It’s im­por­tant to note your dog is not do­ing this out of spite. Spite is a very hu­man trait, but not a ca­nine one. Dogs are very hon­est crea­tures. Your ca­nine pal isn’t go­ing to sweetly kiss you good­bye when you head off to work in the morn­ing, just to start plot­ting against you be­fore your car even leaves the drive­way. It’s just that when he’s bored, his choices to amuse him­self are prob­a­bly not go­ing to match yours. Here are five typ­i­cal signs your dog is bored, as well as what to do about it.

1 Bark­ing

Sev­eral things can cause bark­ing but bore­dom is a com­mon cul­prit. Your pup may bark at the world out­side his win­dow, whether it’s at the mail­man or a lizard; a dog left in a yard may bark at the neigh­bours; some dogs will howl—in any case, it’s not a good recipe for neigh­bourly re­la­tions!

2 Gen­eral Mis­chief

Come home to an up­ended kitchen trash bin? Are your un­men­tion­ables scat­tered through­out the liv­ing room? Is the lamp knocked over? A bored dog can cre­ate his own fun by turn­ing your house into his own pri­vate amuse­ment park.

3 De­struc­tive Chew­ing

It doesn’t mat­ter if you’ve spent $300 in dog toys. Dogs are built for chew­ing, and a bored dog is happy to put his teeth on what­ever’s in reach, so com­ing home to a tat­tered rug, chomped-up sofa or even a hole in the wall isn’t that un­usual. To your dog, chew­ing is fun! This can hap­pen at any age, but prime times are when your puppy is los­ing his puppy teeth at about 16 weeks, and again when his back mo­lars come in at about seven months.

4 Es­cap­ing

You may think your yard is a par­adise for your home­alone dog, but dogs quickly get bored when left by them­selves in the same old en­closed space, in­doors or out. A jail­break can be­gin in­no­cently enough with your dog fol­low­ing his nose or chas­ing some­thing he sees, lead­ing him to dig un­der or jump over your fence. He has a grand ad­ven­ture; it’s so much fun, it be­comes a re­peat es­cape.

5 Hy­per Greet­ings

Your dog should be happy to see you when you get home, but are his greet­ings over the top? Does he jump up, zoom around the place, ig­nore you when you cue him to sit or set­tle, or gen­er­ally act like a crazy beast? If he’s been bored all day, hav­ing his favourite per­son come home could cause all that pent-up en­ergy to ex­plode.

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