Your Bored Dog: How to Handle Doggy Doldrums

by janie knetzer

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have-you-heard-dogJust like me when I’m watching American Idol, dogs can get bored. And when dogs get bored, not unlike myself during said “singing” competition, dogs can get cranky. And when dogs get cranky…well, hide the valuables.

So what do you do when your dog gets bored? How do you handle these issues of lethargy and monotony in your four-legged friend? And what would it take to get a decent singer to actually, you know, win that television show without having water it down for a tween audience more concerned with looks than actual vocal talent?!


Behavioral Issues

Dogs that are bored can often find themselves getting into trouble and acting out. They can start destroying things, for one, and can start chewing on various objects around the house. They’ll dig holes in the yard and gnaw away at your furniture.

Dogs will also bark like crazy when they get bored. This may include vocalizing at people just walking by the house or at objects they see outside or things they hear. Sometimes dogs will sit and bark at the radio when they’re feeling a little less than enthused, like say when a past American Idol winner is on.

Some dogs will find other things to do with their excessive energy, which comes about as a result of boredom. They may develop obsessive compulsive tendencies (yes, dogs do that) and may be prone to nosing around in old-dogplaces that they don’t belong.


As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure (or something). In this case, the ounce of prevention has everything to do with your dog’s energy level. Boredom usually comes about as the result of a doggy with far, far too much energy. This could be, in turn, the result of a doggy that isn’t getting enough exercise or stimulation.

You may find it weird to take it upon yourself to entertain your dog to prevent boredom, but in effect that’s exactly what you ought to do. Take your dog outside more often, take him or her for runs if they’re physically able, and talk to your dog – even if it’s just about American Idol. Your dog will, believe it or not, appreciate the mental stimulation that goes into having a conversation with you – even if nobody else finds you that interesting.

Invest in some toys that your pooch will enjoy. Chew toys are a good option, especially the really annoying squeaky kind. This helps your dog get all of his or her “chew action” out without having teeth marks on your new shoes. From Nylabones to bully balls, there are many options for dog chew toys out there to consider.

Also, consider a little calming music. This may sound surprising, but dogs actually do respond to soothing music much in the same way people do. There are a couple of dog-ready CDs out there that you can pick up that will help ease your dog’s mind and get rid of that pent-up energy.

illness-in-older-dogsMost importantly, exercise is a vital component to not only preventing boredom but upholding values of overall health. As mentioned, take your dog out for a run if he or she is able. Try walking more frequently and give your dog something to look forward to in the day. This not only forges a bond, it implements a routine that your dog can get used to following. This helps prevent lethargy.


A bored dog can be a problem dog, even if he or she is generally the best-behaved canine on the planet. Whether it’s chewing your shoes or piddling on your rug, you never really know what a jaded dog will get up to until it’s too late. With the abovementioned tips and a few creative ideas of your own, however, you should be able to stave off the beast of boredom and get your dog back to his or her vigorous self.

And really, if you remember nothing else from this article and receive no other information of value, remember one thing: turn off American Idol. Your dog will thank you and so will I.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

What to do when your bored December 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

If you have two dogs or more, they can be fine playing together because they have the company of other dogs. It is when dogs start to feel lonely, they will seek your company and become bored. If you only have one dog, you need to spend as much time with it as possible.


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