How to Know If Your Dog is Bored
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Dogs are highly sociable companion animals, and they possess great intelligence. This is why we must stress the fact that dogs need a great dose of attention, affection and positive stimulation.
A dog may get bored for several reasons. It may be that he or she spends a lot of time alone at home, doesn't feel part of the family or they need more physical and mental stimulation. This can be harmful to our pet and the environment we share with them. How do you know if your dog is bored? AnimalWised will share five symptoms that will help you identify this problem and what to do about it.
1. Compulsive behavior
When a dog is bored their mental well-being is disturbed. So, it is possible that they show some changes in their behavior with the purpose of stimulating them self to keep the mind distracted.
This compulsive behavior known as stereotyping, consists of repetitive movements with no apparent end. They actually do this to get their energy out.
Although the most well-known compulsive behaviors is to chase the tail constantly, there are other stereotypes that can also affect a bored dog. Such as, excessive licking. If your dog is bored for most of the day, this stereotype confirms their boredom and lack of mental stimulation. In this case it would be highly advisable to go to a specialist.
2. Destructive behavior
Dogs need to be stimulated mentally and physically, otherwise boredom can lead them to bite all household objects. This is especially true of those dogs that have great energy and therefore also require a lot of physical exercise.
If your dog spends a lot of time alone at home and does not receive the physical exercise they need to feel good, it is very possible that upon your return home, you will find damage. Of course, we must learn to differentiate the destructiveness of separation anxiety , which are those that occur when the dog is alone.
3. Excessive barking or howling
A dog lacking in stimuli and motivation can show numerous behavioral traits that we may not have seen before on any occasion. If your dog is bored they may indulge in excessive barking, which is basically a demand for attention.
The truth is that any change in the usual behavior of our pet should alert us. Behind each misbehavior may not just be boredom but another situation that must be dealt with urgently. Do not forget that if your dog barks when alone, they also may be suffering from separation anxiety.
This is a trait that can easily occur when a Siberian husky is bored. Although it usually occurs in all breeds of independent character and great intelligence. Especially when repetitive training or lack of mental stimulation spark boredom. They show their boredom with absolute disobedience.
Remember that challenges are important to your dog. You should always train them according to their individual characteristics and own limitations. Try to offer varied games and new activities to help you enrich your day to day life.
Boredom can lead to depression in some dogs. This is manifested by lethargy, sadness , tiredness and changes in appetite, among other symptoms.
Whenever a dog is down, it is important to find out what causes this state. It is possible that boredom is one of them. Remember that your dog needs your time and care.
How to cure their boredom
Give them plenty of exercise
Dogs must be mentally and physically challenged on a daily basis. The frequency of walks and the extent of strenuous exercise will depend entirely on the breed, however. Ensure you are giving them the bear minimum amount of daily walking and incorporate different fun games and activities indoors and outdoors.
Socializing puppies and adult dogs alike is highly important. Dogs are social creatures and must be introduced to new and exciting things in order to stimulate them. If possible, invite other dogs to your home to take part in a "play date".
Give them new toys
Which dog doesn't like new toys? You don't have to splurge on the best of the best, but alternate between different toys and keep them in different places around your home. The hunt for the toy will be just as entertaining to them as playing with it.
Make mealtimes fun
Use a kong to prolong feeding times and give your dog a challenge. Ethologists usually recommend filling the Kong with various layers of food, such as dog food, soft treats, another layer of dog food, dried biscuits etc., until the Kong is full. Your dog will find the variety to be stimulating.
Introduce clicker training
Clicker training your dog can be used for training new behaviors and rewarding ones you didn’t even ask for. The clicker is a behavior enhancer. The goal is that every time the dog hears the "click". they understand that they did something well. This method of positive reinforcement encourages dogs and tires them out. A tired dog is not a bored dog!
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