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How to Tell If Your Dog Is Bored

Learn the signs that your dog is bored.

Have you ever looked at your dog, lying there staring at you with puppy dog eyes, and wondered if he's bored?

While being bored occasionally isn't a big deal, if a dog is chronically bored, it leads to problems. Obesity, anxiety, and bad behaviors like chewing household items and inappropriate elimination are all possible outcomes if a dog is bored too often.

Take a look at these three red flags that may indicate your dog is suffering from chronic boredom.

He's Destructive

If your dog is engaging in destructive behaviors in the home or yard, it could indicate that he's bored. Those types of behaviors may include:

  • Chewing household items
  • Barking
  • Digging
  • Counter-surfing or trash-diving

Of course, boredom isn't the only thing that can cause these behaviors. Separation anxiety can cause some of them too.

He's Constantly Looking for Attention

If your dog seems like he's always trying to get your attention, it could be that he's chronically bored. Attention-seeking behaviors in dogs can include:

  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Nudging your hand
  • Jumping on you while you're walking around your home
  • Getting on your lap and putting his face in yours

If your dog seems to be constantly trying to get your attention, he could be dealing with boredom.

He's Always Within a Few Feet of You

If your dog seems to be acting more like your shadow than an independent being, he may be bored. Sticking next to you could be his way of entertaining himself.

Of course, this is another thing that can be a sign of separation anxiety, so you may have to do some detective work to figure out which one you're dealing with.

He's Pacing a Hole in the Carpet

Pacing behavior can be related to anxiety, senility, or boredom in dogs. It's a sign that there is pent-up energy of some sort, and pacing is how your dog is trying to relieve it.

He's Bothering Your Other Dogs

If your dog seems to be harassing or picking on the other dogs in your home, he could be suffering from boredom. Trying to get a reaction out of his housemates may be his way of trying to make something exciting happen.

He's Over-Grooming Himself

Bored dogs sometimes begin to overgroom one or two specific spots on their bodies, especially the tops of the front legs. This is another behavior that can be caused by more than just boredom, however, so check with your veterinarian. Learn more: "Lick Granuloma: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Acral Lick Granuloma in Dogs."

How to Deal with Boredom in Dogs

You may need to enlist the help of your veterinarian to determine whether your dog's behaviors are related to boredom, anxiety, a medical issue, or some combination of those things. Once you've narrowed in on boredom as the most likely cause, what can you do about it?

Mental and physical exercise are both great ways to combat boredom in dogs. If you think your dog is bored, increase his exercise time.

Fetch, tug-of-war, and walks are all great ways to exercise your dog. Additionally, you can use puzzle toys to help combat boredom when you aren't able to get outside with him. Learn more: "10 Ways to Keep a Dog Busy Inside."

You May Also Like These Articles:

Obesity in Dogs: Overview of Causes and Dangers

How to Stop a Dog from Digging

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome: Senility in Dogs

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