It is not always easy to make out boredom in children and adults. They may seem restless, unhappy, or detached, depending on the individual. Actually, dogs and small children are alike in their need for physical and mental stimulation. Dogs too, like children do not like to be left alone. See How to entertain a dog home alone for ways to prevent your dog from getting bored when home alone.
While some emotions may be difficult to identify, boredom is one that most dogs exhibit quite clearly. It is important to ensure your dog receives adequate exercise and mental enrichment to prevent boredom. Failure to do so will result in unwanted behaviors such as barking, destructive behavior and even escaping to explore. To find out how much exercise your particular dog needs see How much exercise does my dog need calculator here.
Here are 10 signs of boredom in dogs you can easily identify.
1) Destructive Behaviour
One of the key signs that your dog is bored is when he becomes a master at destroying just about anything they can get their mouths on. This happens because of very little human intervention. See How to stop your dog chewing things for solutions to this problem.
Chewing in itself is not a problem behavior. Dogs chew for many reasons including to clean their teeth and to feel relaxed. Chewing is a natural behavior for a dog and when they chew it releases endorphins to their brain making them feel calm and happy. It becomes a problem when they are chewing up things you don’t want them to. It is important to provide your dog with chew toys to avoid this issue. To learn more about the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys for dogs see here.
Lack of mental or physical stimulation in your dog can make him bored. They might look for ways to ease their boredom and burn off energy by digging in the backyard. Digging is also an instinctive behavior for dogs. Although you can’t train and instinctive behavior out of a dog you can redirect the behavior. This can be achieved by providing toys and activities that cater to this instinct. See dog toys for diggers for suggestions.
3) Tail Chasing
It might be a little funny to see your dog chasing his tail. However, they may do this to beat boredom. It’s one way of having fun and burn up their energy. This holds true for puppies who don’t even realize that it’s their tail and consider it a toy.
4) Demand Barking
There are times when you notice that your dog barks incessantly at nothing. He does this to while away his time to relieve boredom, especially when they are left outdoors alone for a long period of time. Of course, this can lead to problems with the neighbors. See How to give a dog entertained outside for suggestions
Besides this kind of behaviour, your dog might become lethargic and just lie there, particularly when left alone. This could imply that your dog is bored and badly in need of some sort of stimulation.
6) Velcro dog syndrome
Boredom in your dog can make him follow you around the place, biting and chewing on clothes, shoes or curtains. This kind of chewing and biting behavior helps them to relieve boredom and get rid of anxiety and stress. This following you around behavior is referred to as velcro dog syndrome. It is also a sign that your dog is lonely. See Lonely dog symptoms and solutions to learn more.
Whining, like demand barking is an attention seeking behavior. If your dog keeps whining, it just proves that he is seeking your attention or that he needs some exercise and mental enrichment.
8) Harassing Other Dogs
If you own more than one dog, one of the best ways of diversion would be for your bored pup to attack one of the other dogs. Although the pup might enjoy the harassment, the same cannot be said of the victim.
9) Messing up
When your dog pulls out clothes from the laundry basket, pillows from the bed and litters the place it just shows that your dog is looking for ways to relieve boredom.
10) Excessive Licking
Do you find your dog licking you repeatedly or does he climbs onto your lap forcefully, puts his face right on yours, and stares fixedly? On the other hand, does he continue chewing on their paws? These kinds of behaviors spring from sheer boredom and your dog needs attention. For ways to deal with excessive licking by your dog see here.
If your dog is showing many of these signs of boredom it is important to provide them with activity, both physical and mental. In fact, mental exercise can tire a dog just as much as physical exercise.
One of the best ways to conquer boredom for a dog is to use puzzle and interactive toys. Learn more about puzzle toys for dogs here.
Failure to relieve your dog’s boredom will lead to unwanted behaviors such as barking, digging, destructive behavior and escaping to find stimulation.