WOOF! I’m bored!!!

Boredom-related behaviours… what are they and why is it that some dogs seem to be able to sit at home all day seemingly just enjoy the sunshine, whilst others seem to spend their spare time re-landscaping the back yard or annoying the neighbours?

Often I can pick the dogs and puppies that are predisposed to boredom-related problems. How? Because they are really, really smart! Often owners will comment how quickly their dog learns new things, their dog only has 2 speeds; off and on, owners find it difficult to gain the dogs attention when they are in a more distracting location, the dog is ‘nosey’ and likes to know what is going on and will follow the owners from room to room … the list goes on.

So what are boredom related behaviours? Barking, chewing, shredding, digging and pacing are some of the most common. Often boredom related behaviours occur once the dog is on their own. Most boredom related behaviours occur, well, when the dog has nothing to do and becomes bored!

So what can we do to prevent these from occurring or reduce them once they start? Give your dog better options like the following:

Food hunt;

Shred it;

Hit it;

Find it;

Lick and chew;

There are many other wonderful interactive food toys on the market or you can DIY – the ideas are endless!

 

 

I’m a huge advocate of prevention rather than cure, as prevention is far easier than trying to break a habit after it’s been well learnt!

 

ALERT!!! Some behaviours labelled as ‘boredom’ may actually reflect an individual who is not coping with being alone. Chewing, shredding, digging, pacing and barking can all be performed as part of a coping strategy for dogs suffering separation anxiety or other types of anxiety. Spy-cam is ideal for understanding whether your dog is ‘making their own fun’ or attempting to cope with aloneness. If you are unsure, Kalmpets can help.

 

Happy training!

 

Tracey Lord

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