Bored Dog? What Are The Signs & How to Keep Them Happy

by Catherine Tucker / Pet Care, Health & Fitness / 10 Jan 2018

How to keep a bored dog happy and healthy, how to tell if your dog is bored, destructive dog behaviour, chewing, barking, enrichment, mental and physical exercise, stimulation, pet sitting, house sitting, PetCloud

Fur-babies can get bored easily, but how do you know if they are bored or just relaxing?

Each breed require different levels and types of stimulation to stay mentally and physically active, so let’s explore what to look for and how to combat a bored dog.


Two of the most common signs of boredom in a dog are, the dog is not engaging with their environment and lying around, or they are exhibiting destructive behaviour.

If a dog is in good health and is sleeping more than usual they may be bored, but if they are tearing apart the couch, excessively barking or even humping objects, they are definitely bored.

Justin Jordan from Jordan Dog Training agrees chewing and destructive can be a sign of bored.

The RSPCA advises both inside and outside dogs can be prone to boredom, even if they have a big yard.

“For many confident dogs, time outside the yard provides much needed mental stimulation (a variety of sights, smells and sounds); even dogs in the biggest yards can become bored if not taken out regularly,” RSPCA said.

Whichever behaviour your dog displays to express their boredom it is important to redirect their negative behaviours rather than punishing them.



One of the ways to combat a bored dog involves their favourite four letter word, W-A-L-K.

Taking a dog for a walk is one of the easiest ways to combat their bored.

Jordan says a dog should be taken for a walk at least once a day.

“Dogs, like all of us, need exercise to stimulate their minds and it also takes away the boredom of hanging around in the yard all day,” he said.

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Doggy day care is a fantastic way to give you pet social interaction with other peoples and pets while you are at work.

As well as keeping your dog entertained, it can improve their social skills and adaptability.

Deb Morrison, CEO and Founder of PetCloud, said in a recent press realease doggy day care is one of the fastest growing services on their pet sitting platform.

“Pet owners tell us it’s because they see their pup’s need for regular socialisation just as important as their own,” she said.


Positive reinforcement training is a great way to physically and mentally stimulate a dog.

Jordan recommends giving your dog some basic training each and every day for about 10 minutes because dogs, like children, need education.

“Every interaction with your dog is an opportunity to train you dog,” he said.

“Some helpful and easy commands to consider ae name recognition, sit, drop, come, shake, leave and mat training.”



Enrichment toys and activities are involve a dog having to manipulate or move an object and can be done without interact with a person.

The RSPCA recommends Kong’s are enjoyed by most dogs and provide a challenge and good chewing experience.

“It is important to rotate the toys on a regular basis so that your dog does not become bored,” the RSPCA said.

Why not have a toy box and switch up which toys your dog as access to each day.


Dogs are natural scavengers so rather than serving food in a bowl keep a dog entertained with a foraging activity will teach them to work for their food.

Whether food is hidden in toys, frozen in an ice block or hidden around the yard/house this will stimulate your dog to get to their food and give them a tasty snack.

You can purchase toys that will release the food on a timer or they have to push are to release food, or make your own toys with plastic bottles or boxes.

The RSPCA recommends using food to entertain an easy way to make at home enrichment toys with food.

“Take some old rags or towels (that you don’t mind being ripped or dirtied), tie together into large knots and place dry treats inside the knots,” they said.

“For an added challenge, hide the rags inside a ‘hol-ee roller’ dog toy.”

Get creative - the possibilities to entertain a bored dog are endless.

Read more: "10 Dangerous Human Foods For Your Pet"

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