12 bored dog symptoms and what to do about it

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

bored dog symptoms like tearing up furniture

Are you worried that your dog might be bored?

When dogs get bored, they tend to act out. That’s why you need to make sure you’re preventing boredom from happening in the first place.

This article has everything you need to know about dealing with boredom in dogs.

Why you should know the signs of boredom in dogs

Have you ever heard the saying “a tired dog is a happy dog”?

This saying refers to the idea that when dogs will be calm and well-behaved when they get enough daily stimulation. What happens if they don’t?

If you don’t give your dog the mental and physical stimulation he needs, he’s likely to act out. Bored dogs can get destructive, especially by chewing or digging, clingy, over excited or may even try to escape.

It’s important to make sure that you know all the symptoms of a bored dog. If you know what to be on the lookout for, you’ll be able to stop bad behavior before it happens.

What happens if a dog gets too bored?

Dogs get that too bored will try and find other ways to entertain themselves.

Unfortunately, the methods they choose might not be desirable—or safe. Your dog might start getting into things he shouldn’t, which could be risky.

One problem that many owners face with bored dogs is chewing. Dogs are mouth-based creatures and will look for ways to use their mouths especially if they have nothing else to do.

Your dog could start chewing on something unsafe—like cables or houseplants—and injure himself or make himself sick.

Even if what he’s getting into isn’t necessarily unsafe, this likely isn’t behavior that you want to continue.

bored dog symptoms include chewing shoes
Dogs experience the world with their snouts—and that’s why they love chewing up things when bored.

Is my dog bored or just resting?

Wondering if your dog is getting bored or if he’s just having a rest? Maybe you’re wondering if dogs sleep when they are bored.

Dogs will not usually sleep when they are bored. If your dog is looking for something to do, he’ll try and find it!

So why is your dog resting so much? Dogs need a lot of sleep, around 10 to 14 hours a day. Puppies need even more sleep than this.

A dog’s sleep cycle is lighter than a human’s, so they need more rest than we do to get the full benefits of sleep. If your dog is sleeping around 10 to 14 hours a day, that’s completely normal.

Is my dog bored or depressed?

Just like humans, dogs can become depressed. So how exactly can you tell if your dog is bored or depressed?

Remember, dogs need a lot of rest. That means that, like sleeping a lot isn’t one of the symptoms of a bored dog, it’s also probably not a sign of depression.

But if your dog’s mood seems to change, he’s hiding, sleeping more than usual, or if he’s losing his appetite, those are all signs of depression.

How do you treat a bored dog?

The best way to deal with a bored dog is by doing the obvious—giving him something to do!

There are lots of great things you can do with your dog. These related articles should give you some inspiration:

Training your dog out of his bad behaviors using positive reinforcement dog training will also help

12 bored dog symptoms and what to do if your dog is bored

Looking for some ways to tell if your dog is bored?

Here are some major signs that your dog is bored, and how you can help.


As mentioned earlier, many dogs will try to find something to do with their mouths when they are bored.

This means that if your dog is looking for something to do, one of the first things he’ll probably do is find himself something to chew on.

He might well end up chewing things he knows he shouldn’t, like your shoes.

The best way to deal with this is to make sure your dog has things around that are safe to chew.

Bored dog whining and barking

Dogs communicate largely through body language. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t get vocal at times.

If your dog is bored, then you might find that he’s making a lot more noise than usual. Dogs that are bored might try to get attention by barking or whining.

You can learn more about these particular problems by checking out these articles:

barking can also be one of the symptoms of a bored dog
Owner, I’m bored! Bored! So bored! BOOORED!

Over excitement

When dogs are bored, they’re likely to get much more excited than usual when something is going on.

Your dog is channeling all of his excess energy into whatever has his interest. If he’s is jumping and barking at things that he’s normally calm about, that’s one of the main symptoms of your dog feeling bored.

Make sure you take a look at these related articles for more information on over excitement in dogs:

Trying to escape

If your dog is getting really bored, he might try to escape to find something else to do.

Dogs have super sensitive hearing and senses of smell. He can tell when things are going on outside of your house that you might not even be aware of!

And if your dog is feeling bored, he’s likely to be extra-interested in anything going on around him.

Catching your dog trying to escape is a major sign of dog boredom. Keeping your dog entertained and making sure that he can’t escape will help with this issue.

Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!

Field Dogs 300 x 600


Digging is a natural behavior for dogs. Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s instinctive, but other times it’s the sign of a larger problem.

When he’s digging in things a lot, your dog might show symptoms of feeling bored. If that’s the case, you should make sure that you are giving him the stimulation he needs every day.

If your dog is digging up your backyard, providing him with a designated spot for digging, like a sandbox, can help. But your dog might also be digging at other things, like his food bowl or bed.

These related articles on digging can help you with this issue:

Excessive scratching

Another sign that your dog is bored is that he’s itching himself a lot.

It’s normal for dogs to get itchy once in a while. But if your dog won’t stop scratching, it could be because he’s just trying to find something to do with his body in order to deal with the boredom.

Bear in mind that excessive scratching could also be the sign of a medical problem. If your dog won’t stop scratching, it might be worth taking him to the vet for a check-up.

Speaking of the vet: Have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!

Destroying the furniture

A bored dog is likely to get destructive. This is unfortunate news for your furniture.

Destroying furniture is a way for your dog to get rid of all of his excess energy. It’s also a way for him to get your attention, even if it’s negative attention.

To keep your dog happy and your furniture in good shape, you need to make sure that you’re giving your dog the stimulation he needs.

another of the symptoms of a bored dog is destroying furniture
This upholstering can’t withstand a bored dog, like a lot of furniture.

Constant licking

Dogs are mouth-based creatures, but chewing isn’t the only mouthy thing your dog is likely to show if he’s bored.

Your dog may also start licking himself or other things excessively. If you’re looking for a little more advice about licking, these related articles can help you:

Rips out stuffing

Is your dog suddenly ripping the stuffing out of all of his toys?

Or maybe your dog is suddenly intent on destroying his dog bed, or tearing the stuffing out of your couch?

Regardless of what he’s working on, ripping the stuffing out of things is one of the major symptoms that your dog is bored.

Your dog is looking for something to do with his mouth, and this is what he’s decided on.

Paces all the time

Dogs pace for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they pace when they’re feeling sick or unwell.

Your dog could also be pacing because he’s got a lot of pent-up energy. It needs to get out somehow, and the best thing your dog can think to do is to start pacing!

Pacing can also be a sign of anxiety. Check out these related articles on separation anxiety if you’re looking for some help:

pacing can be a sign of dog boredom
These feet won’t keep still—a sign of plain boredom, but not just.

Nipping and jumping at you

If your dog is bored, then he’ll probably try and get your attention.

He might do this by jumping at you and nipping. Anything that will get you to focus on him!

Giving your dog enough daily stimulation and working on training will help prevent behavior like this.

Velcro dog follows you around

Some dogs tend to be pretty clingy. If your dog won’t stop following you around, that could signify that he’s bored.

If you’re looking for some help with your Velcro dog, check out these articles:

Bored dog symptoms FAQ

Still have questions about boredom in dogs? Here are some answers.

Do dogs get bored at home?

If you spend a big portion of the day away from your dog, you’re probably wondering if he gets bored.

Most dogs will nap and rest while their owners are away. But when you get home, you need to make sure that you’re giving him the stimulation he needs.

Having a routine can do a lot to help. Here’s the best morning routine with a dog before work.

Get your free puppy schedule planner

My dog is bored but won’t play with toys, what do I do?

If your dog seems bored but won’t play, there could be several reasons why.

Sometimes all it takes is for you to switch up the games you play a little bit to make things feel new and more interesting.

However, you should also be mindful about any signs of illness your dog might be showing. Take him to your vet if you’re feeling concerned about him.

Do dogs get bored laying around all day?

Dogs rest a lot, as you already know! It’s totally normal for dogs to sleep or rest for around 10 to 14 hours on average.

Dogs don’t do this out of boredom. While it might seem pretty tedious lying around all day, it’s important for your dog to get this rest.

As long as your dog is as playful as he normally is and seems otherwise healthy, there’s nothing to be concerned about.

How do I keep a dog from being bored when home alone?

There are lots of great ways to prevent boredom in a dog when he’s home alone. Giving him a Kong toy stuffed with treats and peanut butter can give him something to do with his mouth while you’re gone.

You can even freeze it overnight to help it last longer.

Hiring a dog walker to come during the day and take him out can also help.

dogs being walked to stop boredom
Sometimes you need a little help to keep your dog busy.

What are good bored dog toys?

Playing with a toy can help prevent bad behavior in bored dogs.

Most dogs love toys that they can use with their owners. If your dog is alone, then a Kong toy stuffed with treats and frozen will give him something to do.


Preventing boredom is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. If you want to make sure that your dog is well-behaved, keep all the above tips in mind.

Get your free puppy schedule planner

Recent Posts