Do you know what a bored dog looks like? They're likely pacing or panting. They might even be drooling or whining. But more often than not, you don't know that your dog is bored until you've left them alone for awhile. That's when you come home to all kinds of things like shredded rolls of toilet paper and gnawed shoes. One of the Pet Place writers told me the other day that her newly-adopted dog, Kiepher, had chewed away part of a door frame because he was bored.
Bored dogs often use their energy in less than desirable ways. Providing your dog with toys is a valuable way to keep them happy and stimulated. When dogs are presented with a challenge or a puzzle, they are often less likely to bark or chew inappropriately. And we can all use some help with behavioral problems.
Here are some ways you can challenge your dog:
1. Play more often. When you tire your dog out they'll have less extra energy to burn. It sounds simple, but if your schedule doesn't include daily playtime for your dog, try adding it in.
2. Find a game your dog loves . Dogs are like humans-they have their own favorites, likes, and dislikes. Not all dogs like the same games and toys. Try experimenting to see what gets them excited and playing.
3. Challenge them with a toy. If regular balls and bones aren't enough to keep your dog out of trouble, consider giving them a puzzle toy. While many toys are great for keeping dogs busy, sometimes your pup needs a little more stimulation or challenge. Here is a toy that not only allows you to toss it for your dog, but also floats and works like a puzzle.