So many owners are focussed on whether their furry family member is getting enough physical exercise that we sometimes forget that our four legged buddy also needs plenty of mental exercise too. Naughty behaviour even after a really long run or walk may be due to a lack of mental stimulation when they get home. Your pet may be in desperate need of some mental exercise and by using some basic training, activity toys or interactive games you could alleviate some common boredom problems.
These are some classic signs of Mental Boredom in Dogs
Is your dog very unsettled even after a busy day of exercise? Does he get up and pace, whine or change his resting position every few minutes? It may be that although he is physically tired his brain is still buzzing and just will not shut down to rest. Providing mental Stimulation will help him relax and finally settle down.
No matter how much exercise you are proving for your dog, if he is still ripping, tearing, chewing, shredding and destroying your belongings, you may have to try and wear out his brain too! Try and provide an activity that will use his brain power like 'Hide and Seek' with his toys or specially designed puzzle toys or one of many of the interactive toys available on the market.
Is your Dog Digging a tunnel to Australia in your garden? This is usually due to your hairy hound being a little bored! Try providing interactive dog toys (Like a Tether Tug or Tuggo Toy) in your back garden. These interative toys will use up some extra brain power and your dog will be less likely to srtart reorganising your flower beds or lawn. You could actually provide your dog with a purpose built sandpit with some interesting doggy toys hidden in the sand. THis will use up some mental and physical energy too!
Some dogs are completely and uttery mesmerised by their nice fluffy tail and become obsessed with chasing it! Any dog can become a tail chaser but its often herding breeds like the Border Collie that become a little more obsessed! Provide some mental stimulation and they should stop the chase (Of course this will not apply if your dog has an underlying medical problem causing tail chasing). Why not teach your dog some new tricks like how to place some balls in a net (Herding behaviour).
Is everything a "Threat" to your dog? Does it seem like your dog barks at everything ? Scary Shadows or imaginary home invaders or even you walking through the door and giving your dog a fright? Your dogs over active mind needs to find something to do. Training is essential for these noisy dogs, but also make sure that you provide something to do that will keep their brain active and stop them imagining all these threats to them and their home and family. Give your dog a job to do, train your dog to go to their bed or find a toy when the door bell rings, this should help ease their mind and keep them quieter!
Your overly Sleepy Dog may be sign of illness but may also be a sign that she is just bored, bored, bored!!! It is most definately not very healthy for your dog. Perhaps you should add a few mind boggling activity toys to your dogs toy box?
Is your dog a whining, whimpering mess? Is he whining for no reason? Make sure you rule out pain, fear stress and attention seeking before you assume he is bored! Think about your little two legged family members or friends, what do they do when they are bored? The drive you mad with whining about how BORED they are! Wait until he has stopped whinging (So as not to 'reward' this annoying behaviour) and provide your dog with some mental activity or better still play a game and interact with him!