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Are you tired of coming home and finding pillow stuffing all over your floor? Just like the rest of us, without enough exercise and mental stimulation, dogs can become bored. Dog breeds were developed to help us do certain jobs such as herding, guarding, scent work, etc. In today’s world, though, most dogs do not have to work but their natural instinct to work is still there; they still need a job even if it isn’t the job that they were bred to do. Even the laziest of couch potato dogs still need some stimulation to keep them from becoming a bored dog.

Some signs that your dog may be bored include digging, chewing, destroying toys and furniture, excessive barking and other non-desirable behaviors. Bored dogs will find their own entertainment and it’s usually not something that we would approve of.

Free Dog Training Workshop

So, How Do You Prevent A Bored Dog?

1. Make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise.

Exercise is the number one way to prevent a bored dog. Take your dog for a walk. Make sure that you switch up locations to give him new things to smell and see. Take your dog outside for a game of fetch or frisbee or to a field for a good run. Take him hiking in new locations. Organize doggy playdates so that he has some friends to run around with to burn off some energy. There is a saying “A good dog is a tired dog” and this is absolutely true. A dog that gets plenty of exercise is happy and will not get himself into trouble like a dog that doesn’t get out for a good walk or run.

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2. Give your dog a job.

Besides just physical exercise, dogs also need mental stimulation to be happy and to prevent boredom. Giving your dog a simple job each day, even as simple as doing some obedience training can help to stimulate their brain and tire them out. Mental stimulation can actually tire a dog out just as much, if not more, than physical exercise. Play Hide N Seek with your dog. When your dog isn’t watching, find a hiding spot and then call him. He will have fun trying to find you.

Hide some of his favorite treats around the house and let him search for them. He will love this game and the prize is that he gets to eat the treats when he finds them. Make sure that they are smelly treats so that he can find them by sniffing them out. Teach your dog to bring you your slippers or shoes. Teach him to pick up his toys and put them back in his toy basket. Giving your dog a simple job can make them feel like they are working and satisfy some of that working instinct that they have. You can be as creative as you want to with the job that you give him.

3. Sign up for classes.


Signing your dog up for classes is a great way to provide exercise as well as mental stimulation. There are so many things that you can do with your dog! Agility classes are great for an active dog. Agility is a sport that many dogs enjoy. Both of you maneuver your way around a course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other obstacles. Agility classes can be geared towards dogs of almost any age depending on the instructor and the equipment that they have. Puppies and older dogs will need to have a course with low obstacles and jumps that have the bar on the ground so that they can walk over it instead of jumping. Puppies should not do any repetitive jumping until they are at least 18 months old and their growth plates have closed to prevent injury and damage to their growing bodies.

Rally Obedience

Rally obedience has become very popular. This is when you take your dog through a course of signs and do whatever obedience commands are on the sign. You can talk to and encourage your dog along the way. Formal obedience is another option as well. This is just as the name implies, a bit more formal than rally obedience. The rules are a bit stricter and there is less encouragement from the handler when doing the exercises but praising is allowed and encouraged between exercises.

Other Popular Class Options

Some other options for classes are freestyle, where you learn to dance with your dog to set routines, trick classes, disc dog, scent detection and the list goes on. There are so many different types of things to do with your dog, the hardest part will be to figure out which type of class you both will enjoy the most.

An excellent way to track your dog’s classes, training, vet appointments and all of his other important information is with our printable Dog Management Planner Binder. Click on the image below to get your copy.

Dog Planner Management Binder

4. Interactive puzzle toys.

There are some great toys on the market that can provide lots of stimulation for your dog. Toys that you can hide food in and the dog then needs to figure out how to get the food out. Dogs love these type of puzzles and will spend a great deal of time playing with them. Have a variety of toys and rotate them so that they don’t have the same toys all the time. Each time that you rotate your dog’s dogs it’s just like getting new toys to them.

5. Hire a dog walker or enroll your dog in a day care.

If your dog requires an endless amount of exercise and mental stimulation, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker to walk your dog while you are at work or enroll them in a doggy day care to help relieve some of their energy requirements. This option works well if you go through a spell when you have to work long hours or you are sick. It’s nice to have an option to fall back on when needed. Make sure that you research dog walkers and doggy day cares. This is the easiest way to find the best one with the best trained staff.

My suggestion would be to do a combination of these tips. Switching things up and doing different things each day or each week with your dog is a great way to make sure that they don’t get bored and become destructive.

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