Bored dogs can exhibit many behavioral problems. The can "entertain" themselves by digging into the cushions of a brand new couch or tearing up your favorite stuffed animal you have had since childhood. Our companions are just not aware of what is a doggy "good" item and a "bad" item. Punishing them for being bored can result in the same reaction as you would get if you do it with a teenager. Anger, resentment, and complete non-understanding of what they are being punished for.
We at Family Pooch want to help, so here are some good ways to help with a "bored dog" before it is an issue.
#1 Exercise - Take them for a long walk
This is the most effective way to keep your dog from being bored. I'm not talking about just taking them out too quickly pee, but to take them for a long walk. Let them do what dogs do, investigate new things, enjoying the outdoors, and sniffing out new things.
Walking is great, but another way is to play ball or frisbee. The point is to spend time with them at the beginning of the day and making sure they are working at it. If they have enough exercise, even if you have to go off to work, they are going to spend most of the time sleeping and dreaming of the next time they will get to have fun with you!
#2 Snuffle Mat and Snuffle Bowl
Not to be too sell our products too much, but engaging their body and brains together will help. Our companions need to not only use their bodies with exercise but also use their brains. I wrote a blog post (here) on this a bit ago on why the Snuffle Mat and Snuffle Bowl work, but to summarize, foraging is a learned skill, and though our companions MAY have learned this from their parents, a Snuffle Mat and Snuffle Bowl can help them engage their brain and body together at feeding time. This isn't enough to entertain a bored dog, but its a start!
#3 Play, Play, Play
As pointed out in Tip #1, dogs love to play., but it can go past throwing the ball. You can play Hide and Seek. I enjoyed that with all my dogs, including Happy, Odie and Sassy. This works since it engages their brain at something they have a natural instinct for,
#4 Give them a View
Some dogs like to watch the world go by, so give them a window seat so they can see the world! It can be an old couch, or a day bed pushed up against the window, or just some way they can look at the world!
Some items which may be interesting: