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What’s That All About – Boredom
Do Dogs Get Bored?
Is your dog bored? Wanting to enrich their environment but just not too sure how? Pet Insurance Australia catches up with Instructor and owner of Amy’s Puppy Pre School and developer of Sound Proof Puppy Training App to get the rundown on boredom and our dogs.
Boredom is by far one of the most misunderstood conditions affecting millions of dogs worldwide. For many years, professionals have seen the consequences of owners not addressing their dog’s boredom issues, and sadly many dogs have ended up in shelter situations due to their enrichment and wellbeing not being attended to.
“Dogs are blamed for being naughty all the time for destructive behaviours around the house and garden,” Amy Smith, owner and instructor at Amy’s Puppy Pre School says. “Chewing and destroying things, digging and or barking.”
How do you know if your dog is bored?
To understand boredom, it is important for owners to think like a dog. Chewing, barking ripping up your favourite cushion or digging is highly entertaining to any canine companion. This being said; if you do not adequately entertain your dog, and boredom creeps in – particularly when you are not at home – your dog will find something much more interesting to do.
This practise needs to start from puppyhood, so your dog doesn’t develop destructive habits that can be harder to break.
“If you are working long hours it’s a big ask for a dog to stay home all day,” Amy warns. “During that time boredom is likely to occur. Lack of exercise, stimulation and enrichment”
Researching your desired breed is also very important in this aspect. Taking looks out of the equation and matching your chosen breed to your lifestyle is much more important.
Training is also a vital tool in combating boredom. A well trained pup is much less likely to grow into a bored and destructive dog.
“I can do a five min training session with my puppy (12 months) and that will wear him out more than a 45 min walk,” Amy suggests. “We also do lots of fun scent games, we hide toys and family members and cue him to find them. It’s a game he absolutely loves and lives for.”
Play is also important when it comes to busting boredom. Think tug of war, fetch and other fun games that involve training commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘give’ etc. This type of training and reward is very entertaining and exhausting work for your dog.
Amy also reminds readers about enriching your dog’s space and feeding from puzzle or treatballs and coming up with clever ideas so your dog has a ‘job’ to do when you are not at home.
“This can be as simple as scatter feeding him on the lawn to working his meal out of a Kong that I froze the night before.”
TOP BOREDOM TIP
“For enrichment I love cardboard activities, so hiding the dogs meal in egg cartons, cereal boxes, shoe boxes etc. The more experience the dog has the more you need to evolve your enrichment. I also love frozen enrichment – ice-cream container with a stuffed Kong, fill it with chicken stock and freeze it overnight. Turn out the ice block the next day for a delicious treat that lasts ages, best to feed this one outside and great for hot days! People often complain about the mess of a cardboard activity but I love to remind them how much fun the dog has had ripping up all that cardboard and how easy it will be to fit into your recycling bin now!”
Our Expert – Amy Smith
Amy Smith is the owner and top instructor at Amy’s Puppy Pre School. She is passionate about dogs and the importance training play in developing a well-rounded and happy pooch. Amy is also the proud developer of the Sound Proof Puppy Training App. For more information check out;
Do you have any top tips on beating boredom? Please share and comment in the post.