- in Dog Health
Dogs who exhibit destructive behavior often end up in animal shelters when their families have reached their limit of chewed shoes and shredded furniture. Unfortunately, these owners may not realize that their dog isn’t trying to be bad, but merely misbehaving out of boredom.
Dogs are generally energetic, intelligent creatures who need mental and physical stimulation to keep them content. A dog who is bored will make his own entertainment, and it’s usually something that their human family would prefer the dog didn’t do!
Leaving your dog alone in the house all day, or confined to the yard for hours at a time, is just asking for trouble. In the wild, dogs are pack animals and like to be with others of their kind. Domesticated dogs want the love and attention of their human pack members.
Spending lots of time with your dog and providing him with constructive activities can control his urge to destroy your landscaping or from gnawing the arms and legs off your daughter’s doll collection.
Here are a few ways to keep your dog from becoming bored so your expensive designer shoes remain intact:
Provide Your Dog With A Variety Of His Own Toys
Dogs need appropriate toys, not human leftovers like old shoes. When you give your dog an old shoe to chew on, he thinks all shoes are fair game. Take time to teach your dog which toys are his and you’ll seldom have your own belongings destroyed.
A puzzle ball filled with kibble will offer a mental challenge as well as encourage physical activity. To prevent your dog from becoming bored with his own toys, buy a few different ones but only put one or two out at a time, and switch them when he seems to lose interest in the ones that are available.
Your dog may have a preference for which type of toys he likes. Some dogs prefer mouthing on soft, plush toys, and some may prefer hard rubber chews. It may take some trial and error to discover which your dog prefers, but the types of mischief he creates can give you a clue.
For example, if your dog is always taking off with the baby’s stuffed squeaky toy buy, him one of his own. When you catch him with the baby’s toy, take it from him and give him his own stuffed squeaky to play with. It’s much easier to teach this to puppies than adult dogs who’ve already learned bad habits, so you’ll have to be persistent. With consistent effort on your part, he’ll learn what is his to play with and what is not.
Take A Pack Walk
Dogs love to roam, and the first thing a wild dog pack does in the morning is go for a walk together to explore their territory. One long, daily walk with the family will give your dog some physical exercise and the mental stimulation that he needs.
Your walk doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning, but whatever time of day is most convenient for the family. Single dog owners can walk their dog alone, but asking some friends to join you with their dogs will make it a more enjoyable experience for the dogs and their owners.
Engage In Dog Activities
Dogs love almost any kind of physical activity, including frisbee, flyball, running, hunting, tracking, playing fetch, jogging with their owners, and agility sports, just to name a few. Spend some time each day engaging your dog in some type of physical activity to burn off his excess energy, so he doesn’t have enough left to eat your sofa.
Read more: Best Dogs To Run With
Get Your Dog A Pet Of His Own
Dogs who spend much of the day alone when the family is at work and school may benefit from an animal companion. Having a dog buddy during the day will give your dog a playmate to keep him entertained when the family isn’t home. Dogs raised together will get along the best, but your dog may accept a companion even if he is already mature.
A puppy of the opposite sex will be the least threatening to your dog, but be sure to get the pair “fixed” if you don’t want to add even more dogs to the family! Some dogs will also accept cats as playmates.
Visit A Nursing Home
Dogs who are well-socialized, friendly toward strangers, and have good doggy manners are often welcome guests in nursing homes. Research has proven that visits from well-mannered pets can be beneficial to the elderly, ill, and other shut-ins. Your dog will get to explore an interesting new environment, meet new people who are excited to fuss over him, and give comfort to others.
Most nursing homes allow pets to visit but you should check with the staff of the nursing home before you drop in. They can help you arrange the most convenient time for your dog’s visit.
Take Your Dog On A Road Trip
Teach your dog to ride calmly in your vehicle, and take him on a trip to the pet store, dog park, a dog-friendly beach, or any other place where pets are allowed. Some hotels and campgrounds welcome dogs who are well-behaved and friendly, and traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience for the whole family when you are adequately prepared.
Read more: How To Stop Your Dog Being Travel Sick?
Leave The TV On
Not an energy-efficient method, but some dogs seem to like watching TV. Leave the channel on a nature documentary or other low-key, soothing program for background noise if your dog doesn’t have any particular favorites.