Dogs are intelligent creatures, that’s why we love them. Working breeds such as Border Collies, German Shepherds, Retrievers, and Poodles are some of the smartest around. Translation: They need stimulation and lots of it! Most dogs were bred to do a job; now they’re domesticated, we have some seriously confused doggos! So, your bored dog might actually just need something to do. Have you seen any of the below in your dog?
Barking - at anything that moves and sometimes at nothing at all?
Digging - does your yard look like a mine field?
Destroying toys - have you just spent $300 on chew toys for them all to be destroyed?
General mischief – stealing socks from the laundry hamper, counter surfing, zoomies around the house etc?
If you’re seeing any of these, your dog needs some stimulation – this will help bring out his/ her personality and helps keep them calm.
A TIRED DOG IS A GOOD DOG!
Learn a new trick - have you taught your dog to open the fridge and get a beer? What about waving hello? What about walking backwards? Pooping on command? So many tricks, so much stimulation! Learning new tricks puts your dog’s brain into overdrive which is so good for them.
Introduce them to new faces - every new face they meet is a new bum to sniff! And who doesn’t love bums to sniff?! Well, not me... your dog. A great place for them to do this is actually your local Bunnings store, just don’t walk them past the sausage stand!
Play interactive games - like a snuffle mat, food puzzle toy or an electronic ball thrower. Something they have to work at to get a reward (food or otherwise) Snuffle mats are also an excellent way to stop your pet gulping down their food, so that’s a bonus!
Run errands with your dog - take them for the walk to the post office or pop them in the car while you go to the hardware store. Just being with you provides so many opportunities for new smells and sights. Think of all the places you could take your pooch; I am sure they would be grateful to tag along.
Give your dog a job to do - research your dog’s breed characteristics and lean toward them when finding jobs to do. Retrievers are great at fetch for example. Try some frisbee, fetch, scent games, teaching them how to pick up their toys or carting, attaching a harness and cart to your dog and asking them to help you with the gardening or take them for a walk around the block, they won’t know the cart is empty!
Agility - this is particularly excellent for those working breeds, but all dogs have fun with this. Find your local agility club and join. Not only will you and your dog meet people, but you will have a safe environment to thoroughly wear your dog out. Mission accomplished!
Was your dog bored? Share your stories below of how you used these tips!
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