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Is your dog bored?

Did you know boredom is a leading cause for dog behavioral problems?

Inappropriate chewing, digging, and excessive barking or licking can be signs that your dog is bored. We all know that exercise is important for physical health, but exercise also plays a key role in mental health. Providing your dog with proper exercise can prevent boredom and help him be a happy, well-behaved dog.

My dog (Kobe) and I enjoy taking walks together. I always let him have plenty of sniffing time, but then he also knows when itís time for serious, fast-paced walking.  I refer to Kobe as my ďpersonal trainerĒ because he motivates me for our daily walk by eagerly staring at me with his cute puppy face and tail wagging non-stop. His look says ďletís go!Ē and we both benefit from the exercise.

However, some days I just canít walk my dog or we just need a different activity to motivate us. My dog tends to be restless at night if he hasnít released his energy during the day. Itís easy to see that he would likely find trouble if he didnít get proper exercise for days in a row. Here are some alternative exercise solutions that I particularly like:

  • Occasionally, I take my dog to a dog daycare that puts an emphasis on exercise.  While I work, she takes Kobe (and however many other dogs she has that day) to a park for playtime, and then for a 2-mile hike. Itís a good option when itís impossible for me to give my dog proper exercise.  Plus, as you can see in this video, my dog has even made dog-friends!
  • Inclement weather? No problem. See my post titled ďHow to Exercise Your Dog IndoorsĒ that gives four fun ways to stimulate your dogís mind and relieve boredom. Other indoor boredom busters are to incorporate basic dog training into daily tasks or to give your dog a job around the house.
  • Donít forget about good old-fashioned fun such as playing in the snow, a game of fetch or chasing a frisbee. Whatever activity keeps your dogís interest will keep him moving and get him tired. This article gives "5 Fun Ideas for Outdoor Dog Adventures" that are sure to tire your dog.
  • The best activity for your dog is whatever he finds fun. Proper dog exercise is key in helping your dog be healthy and happy, and a healthy, happy dog is less likely to find trouble.  Just rememberÖ

    A tired dog is a good dog!