While we’re at work, school or out and about, our dogs are often at home alone for many hours. Without proper preparation, dogs become bored. This can lead to many behavioural problems such as excessive barking, digging and destructive behaviour. Boredom can also contribute to more serious problems, such as separation anxiety and obsessive, compulsive behaviours.
Responsibilities such as work and school are unavoidable, but we always need to remember our responsibilities as dog owners. Providing our dogs with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation is so important so they don’t get bored and frustrated.
Dog breeds and boredom
If you are away from home for many hours a day, a very active dog may not be the best fit. Doing lots of breed research can be a great way to find out a dogs exercise requirements and how they will fit into your home.
It’s important to remember that while breeds can be an indicator of behaviour, every dog is different. You may have a very active greyhound, or a lazy kelpie! Take into consideration your dog’s unique personality and needs.
If your dog is social and likes spending time with other animals, it might be a good idea to have more than one dog. Naturally sociable creatures, dogs can thrive off each other’s company, playing together, eating together and sleeping together can make your dog’s life a whole lot more interesting.
If you aren’t able to get another dog, think about organising a play date, visiting a dog park or a reputable doggy play centre for them to spend time with other dogs.
However, it’s important to remember that adding another dog won’t cure boredom on its own – training and stimulation are always key.