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Bored dogs can be a nightmare!
Yep, my hyper Mini Poodle Baloo and I have totally been there. He definitely needs more action than the average dog his size. But well, I first had to figure that out, I guess.
So, until we got the right amount of physical and mental exercise down, he had a lot of funny ideas to get rid of his boredom.
I’m talking: digging up the trash, destroying tissues, paper, plush toys etc, whining, jumping and much more…
Now, you might be a little surprised to read this. Because your dog is just chilling on the couch and you thought he’s bored.
Well, if your dog is a chiller, then he’s most likely not bored. Bored dogs tend to show their boredom very clearly!
Here’s the short answer: Bored dogs will definitely let you know that they’re bored! Whether it’s through destructiveness, digging up your yard, barking or whining, clingy attitude, pawing, jumping or general antsy behavior, they’ll find ways to entertain themselves. If your dog is simply sleeping all day, then he’s most likely happily relaxed and not bored.
Now, let’s go over all the signs of dog boredom so that you can easily answer the question “is my dog bored?” And of course you’ll also learn what to do about it.
Is My Dog Bored? 7 Symptoms of Dog Boredom
Doggy boredom is a common cause for many behavioral problems in dogs. If your dog is hyper, destroys the house while you’re gone, or just won’t stop barking, it could very well be that he’s bored!
But how do you know for sure that your pup is just bored, and that it’s not a more serious problem? In this article, we’ll go over some common signs that your dog is struggling with boredom, along with some ways you can help.
1. Destructive Behavior
This is one of the most common symptoms of boredom, and probably one of the most frustrating for you.
Coming home after a long day of work to a home in tatters because of your dog is a pretty bad feeling!
So why does your dog do this?
Well, if your dog isn’t getting enough stimulation, he’ll find his own ways to entertain himself. It’s not pretty, and you might not like it, but it’s the only way your dog knows to keep himself busy.
There are lots of reasons why dogs dig. A lot of dogs dig to provide a space to hide their favorite toys. For many dogs, this is just instinctive behavior.
But for others, digging is a serious sign of boredom.
Digging can be an enjoyable activity for your dog. If he doesn’t have anything else to do when he’s out in the yard, he might resort to digging.
3. Crying or Barking
If your dog is bored during the day, he might resort to barking or crying. While barking is very normal behavior for dogs, excessive barking could be his way of telling you (and your neighbors) that he’s bored!
If your dog is crying a lot, it could be a sign of boredom. But first you’ll want to make sure he isn’t whimpering or crying for another reason.
Dogs cry because they’re anxious, hurt, or just because they want something. If your dog is crying a lot, the best first step is to make sure he isn’t crying for a medical reason.
Here are a few related articles to both behaviors:
4. Clingy Attitude
Always following you around, getting underfoot and generally acting extremely clingy are all signs your dog is bored.
He’s probably trying to get you to pay some attention to him, and to realize how badly he wants to do something!
Also be aware, though, that being clingy can also be a sign of separation anxiety. This can be a really difficult behavioral problem to deal with.
Luckily, if your dog’s problem is just boredom, that’s easy enough to solve!
5. Pawing for Attention
You’ve probably seen kids tugging at their parents’ clothes saying, “I’m bored!”
If your dog starts pawing at you, he might be trying to do the same thing as those kids! He’s asking for your attention because he’s bored, and wants you to give him something to do.
If your dog paws at you once in a while, that’s fine and normal. We all get bored on occasion. But if this behavior is happening a lot, that’s a sign you need to make some changes in your dog’s life.
6. Antsy, Restless Behavior
We all know the feeling when you do the same thing over and over again, and you start feeling restless. While routines are helpful, especially if you’re welcoming a new puppy or dog into your home, they can still get tiring for your dog.
If you and your dog do the same thing every day, especially if those things involve little stimulation, then your dog is going to get bored.
Being bored means your dog isn’t able to burn any of the energy he has. That energy builds and builds until you come home from work, or your guests arrive.
Suddenly, he’s jumping all over the place, and just won’t settle down!
Jumping up on you or visitors is common with many dogs. Jumping in general is part for the course with most dogs.
If your dog jumps because he thinks that’s how he should express himself, there are ways to train him out of it. Check out Dogpackr’s previous article to learn how to train a dog not to jump on you or others!
But jumping can also be a sign that your dog has far too much energy bottled up from being bored all day.
How to Relieve Dog Boredom
Well, now that we’ve gone over all the signs that your dog is bored, let’s talk about how you can help him relieve his boredom.
Provide Enough Physical and Mental Stimulation
This is the number one tip. When your dog is bored, he isn’t getting enough stimulation. How do you fix this?
Give him more stimulation!
Spend more time playing with him, take him for longer walks, or schedule a hiking trip for you and your pup.
And remember to make sure that it isn’t just his physical stimulation needs that are being met.
Your dog’s brain needs to work too. So start teaching him that new trick you’ve always wanted him to learn, or make him work for his food with a food puzzle.
Here are a few other articles to help you get inspired:
- How to mentally stimulate your dog
- 21 fun things to do with your dog at home
- Do dogs get tired? Complete guide for a relaxed dog
- 12 ways to tire out your dog indoors
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!
Give Him Things to Chew or Lick
Your dog’s mouth is important. There’s a reason one of the most common signs of your dog’s boredom expressed by chewing up your house! Your dog’s mouth is one of the ways they experience the world.
Giving him a chewy to keep his mouth and brain busy is a good way and to stave off boredom.
You can also try filling a Kong toy with a treat like peanut butter, freeze it, and then give it to your dog.
If chewing and destructive behavior is an issue you’re facing with your pup, make sure to check out my article on how to stop a dog from chewing on things.
If your dog struggles while you’re away at work, he’s not the only one. Lots of people choose to bring their dogs to doggy daycare while they’re away at work.
This is a great way for your pup to get rid of his excess energy and having a blast with other dogs instead of being bored at home.
Baloo gets picked up by our dog walker at least once a week. And let me tell you, he’s always pooped for the rest of the day!
If you’re thinking of sending your pup to doggy daycare, make sure to do your research.
Read client reviews, and make sure that the dogs in the facility are divided by size and/or play style. This will ensure that all dogs there are safe and happy!
Find a Dog Playmate
If you have a friend or neighbor with a dog, why not try setting up some visits for your dogs? It’ll be a great way for your dogs to socialize, plus they’ll burn of energy playing together.
Set Up a Daily Routine
While doing the same thing all day every day can make your dog feel bored, sometimes a routine can really be helpful. You just need to make sure that part of your dog’s routine involves enough mental and physical exercise!
Setting up a good routine was also one of the key elements in getting Baloo to calm down a lot!
Make sure to get my free 3-step framework for a calm dog to learn every step that’s required for your dog to calm down.
Your dog will soon start to understand what times of the day are for relaxing, and what times are for playing.
Get More Inspiration and Training with BrainTraining4Dogs
This program covers basically every behavioral problem under the sun, and all while using force-free and positive reinforcement training methods!
If your dog is bored and you’re looking for other ways to deal with it, be sure to check out BrainTraining4Dogs.
If you’re wondering if your dog is bored, then you probably have a few more related questions. Let’s look at them now.
Is My Dog Bored or Lazy?
If your dog spends the day lying around, you might be wondering if he’s really bored, or just lazy.
Dogpackr has written about dogs and laziness in the past, so be sure to check this article out to learn more about what many people consider “laziness” in dogs!
Also check out Dogpackr’s article about the question “Is my dog bored or tired” Or maybe just lazy?” where this question gets answered in detail.
Is My Dog Bored or Depressed?
Sometimes signs of a dog being bored and signs of a dog being depressed can seem the same. Although, most times they’re actually the opposite.
If you’re wondering if your dog might be depressed, check out my article about whether your dog is bored or depressed.
Is My Dog Bored or Tired?
Some of the symptoms of boredom are also symptoms that your dog is tired, or possibly over-tired.
Check out my previous article about the question “is my dog bored or tired” to learn more about the differences.
If you think your dog might be struggling with stress or exhaustion rather than boredom, take a look at these articles:
- 10 signs and symptoms your dog is over tired or exhausted
- 10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it
- 18 exhausted dog symptoms – when your dog needs a break
A bored dog is a troublesome dog!
Bored dogs might act destructive, chewing up your furniture and digging holes all over your yard. If your dog is bored, you’ll probably find their noise levels increase. And your neighbors definitely won’t appreciate your dog’s constant barking or howling.
Luckily, even though boredom is the cause of many behavioral problems, it’s also very easy to solve! All it means is that you need to give your dog a little more daily stimulation. And make sure that stimulation is mental as well as physical.
The great news about your dog being bored is that it pushes you to start exploring new ways to have fun with your dog. And who knows—maybe your dog’s boredom will inspire you to pick up a new hobby you never would have otherwise!
P.s.: Don’t forget to check out Braintraining4dogs if you want to take your dog training game to the next level. It offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.