7 Telltale Signs Your Dog is Bored

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dog training, signs dog is bored

Have you ever imagined being a dog? Have you ever wanted to be?

No responsibilities, no bills, no worries and just happiness!

I think we can learn a lot from our dogs’ happy ways and how they love unconditionally, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to be a dog.

Okay, I would want to be one of MY dogs, but I wouldn’t want to belong to just anyone 😉

I think like a dog and I understand that my dogs need physical exercise, mental stimulation, relaxation and cuddling and I do my best to provide that to them every day of the week!

My dogs are a big responsibility. Heck, I don’t even take vacations without them, but they are worth every moment of my time.

You see, your dog can’t pick up a book or flip on the TV when he is bored.

He doesn’t have a smart phone or friends on social media that he can play with. He only has what you provide or what he can find to do on his own.

So, how do you know if your dog is trying to tell you that he is bored and would like more mental and physical stimulation?

Here Are the Top 7 Telltale Signs That Your Dog is Bored:

1. He is Destroying Everything

Dogs destroy things when they are bored.

Did you ever take anything apart as a kid, to see how it worked?

Or cut up your “Stretch Armstrong” doll just to see what it looked like inside?

In humans, this is perfectly normal and also a byproduct of boredom and intrigue.

In dogs, we just judge and punish them for being destructive.

Ever think that shredding his bed or eating your shoes was just as fun for him as taking apart a car and finding the leak is to a mechanic?

A mentally and physically stimulated dog doesn’t shred things (except maybe a toy here and there) because his needs are being met.

A bored dog does whatever he can to stimulate his mind, even if it is eating your Michael Kors purse or your laptop!

2. He Steals Things

A dog that is mentally stimulated and whose needs are met won’t notice every item on your kitchen counter.

He doesn’t need to pay attention to what you store and where it is.

A dog that is bored is searching his environment for anything that he can play with or shred or steal or run around with through the house!

Your underwear, your glasses, your food… they are all at risk!

Mentally, he is scheming for the moment he can steal something and run.

Wouldn’t it be better to keep that mind busy?

3. He Barks Incessantly

Dogs that bark incessantly are also bored.

Imagine being locked in a room with four white walls and nothing else.

dog training, signs dog is boredWould you talk to yourself?

Would you yell and try to communicate with anyone else in your environment?

My guess is that, after a period of time, you certainly would.

You would want to hear SOMETHING or do SOMETHING so you would do whatever it took not to become mentally unstable.

Imagine, if you will, how your dog feels?

He can probably also hear other dogs barking in the neighborhood when he is inside.

And, like prisoners in lockup, if you have nothing else to do, you try to communicate with anyone who will take notice.

For help with how to stop your dog’s barking, click here to have a FREE cheat sheet emailed to you.

4. He Jumps on You

He is begging you to play!

I mean, even if you yell and scream and try to kick him in the ribs at least he is getting some kind of interaction from you.

A lot of times, dogs are like kids. They would prefer any kind of interaction over no interaction at all.

Even if the interaction is negative and you punish him, he would still rather get your attention.

Instead, wouldn’t you rather play with him and teach your puppy in a positive way so that he doesn’t have to resort to bad behavior?

Just a few sessions of exercise, paired with obedience, will keep him from needing to get your attention by jumping on you.

5. He Digs

Often times, people leave their dogs out in their yard for long periods of time.

Again, imagine sitting outside in your yard for 8+ hours a day with no phone, no book, no ability to get inside.

Do you think after a few days, you would dig too?

I know that I would!

Bored dogs dig!

Digging is like reading a book for a dog.

Each new layer of dirt smells different and watching the dirt fly through the air is fun for a dog!

If you don’t want your dog to dig, bring him inside and stimulate his mind!

6. He Tries to Get Out of the Yard

This is the follow up for digging!

dog training, signs dog is bored

Some dogs, when left outside, do all they can to get out of the yard!

Perhaps they want to find you.

Or perhaps they just want to get out of what they consider such a cold and sterile environment. Either way it is dangerous.

I recently had a friend adopt a dog that had been hit by a car.

The dog was notorious for digging out of the yard.

One day, after such an incident, she was hit by a car and dropped off at the vet for euthanasia (she was 9 months old).

She now lives happily with someone who knows the dog needs mental stimulation and exercise.

You see, there was no reason to euthanize her, she just needed someone who cared for her; someone who could meet her needs.

7. He Nips and Bites You

Again, this is basic puppy behavior.

Puppies nip and bite their littermates in hopes that the littermate will then chase them.

Remember being a kid?

You antagonize your friend by slapping their face or doing something irritating and then you run!

You run like the wind.

Because not only do you know your friend will chase you down, you want them to.

The fun is in the game!

Most often, puppies and young dogs nip because they want to engage you in play.

This is their way of letting you know that they have too much energy and they need to play.

Puppies who are tired from a 2 hour hike are less likely to nip…. right?  Because, after all, they were physically and mentally stimulated for 2 hours.

When we keep our puppies’ needs met and we exercise them, we are much less likely to suffer from their bad behavior!

In order to have a happy and well adjusted dog, he needs to be mentally, physically and emotionally stimulated enough to meet his needs.


There are 5 Comments

  1. Casey says:

    We are on the Texas Coast and it is 106 degrees feel like temperature, so our Aussie can’t go out and play due to heat. We are a retired couple so we are home with him and don’t want him to be bored. He is keep in house to be with us and out of heat. We do take him out early and late but it is still hot. Any suggestions we can do to keep him from being bored. Fortunately he doesn’t seem to have any of trouble issues, but he does chew and has been pretty good on only chewing on things he can


  2. Sue says:

    We play with our Aussie with the hose in our yard during our 90-100+ days. He loves the water, chases the hose and leaps in the spray. Cools him off and give him exercise without us having to over exert ourselves.


  3. Michelle says:

    We live in the Australian north, so winter is around 35C (95) and summer can get to 48C (118!) and even to 50C. We keep out dogs in doors in summer. The best way to exercise them is take them to the river as they can get cool, run, get cool. Our older dog had bones when she was alone, now we have a second dog for company & that helps too. It sure is hard to play energetic games in doors! I am trying a flirt pole, just gotta teach the older dog to drop it! Lol! A work in progress!


  4. Lynn says:

    Our dog is in season for the first time and she has always been a happy dog and placid, she’s young but not particularly energetic or maybe that’s because it’s too warm for her, she loves to go swimming but obviously can’t at the moment. She is not aggressive to us, in fact she seems more loving than ever but she’s suddenly started to growl and bark at the dogs next door and even has thrown herself at the fence between them. She has a squeeky toy ball that she takes to them and she wags her tail and wants to play most of the time but then the barking. She has more toys than any child, she loves us kicking a football outside for her to chase and will even watch it on tv.


    Minette Reply:

    A lot of these are because she is in tact and in heat. Spaying would change a lot of these behaviors.


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