How to Provide Mental Stimulation for a Bored Dog

My dog seems bored, what can I do to keep it happy? How to provide mental stimulation to a dog? How to prevent boredom in a dog? Some dog breeds are more apt to be bored and destructive, it is up to the owner to provide the dog with proper mental stimulation. What do to with a dog that is bored?
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If your dog is destructive, digging in the yard, barking, destroying your furniture, and so on, it is very likely suffering from mental boredom and requires mental stimulation. Occasionally a dog whose mental needs are not met may become aggressive as a result of mental frustrations. A lot of owners assume that because they walk their dog once or twice a day, it is getting all the exercise it needs, but many dogs need mental exercise in addition to physical exercise.

Some of the dog breeds which especially require mental stimulation are the ones that were bred to have a purpose, herding dogs, hunting breeds, and so forth. Dogs, such as Shih Tzus, that were bred to be “pets” seldom have behavior problems due to a lack of mental stimulation; ignorance is bliss, and they remain happy.

Agility

One of the best ways to keep a smart pooch mentally stimulated is by joining a dog agility club. While a person can teach their dog agility on their own, a club often offers more opportunities. Different dogs have different agility tasks they love, some like pole weaving, others love jumping, and some love it all. Agility is physical and mental stimulation that most smart dogs love.

Fly Ball

Dogs that love to play fetch will love fly ball. This is often an option that some dog agility clubs offer.

Fetch and Frisbee

On your own you can engage your dog in playing fetch or Frisbee. The dog really thinks it is working, doing something, this makes it happy. You need to mix up your throwing style to keep your clever canine interested.

Obedience

If your dog knows obedience, and there is no reason why it should not, you should practice what it knows on a regular basis, being creative to make things more challenging. Taking a more advanced level of training, or even becoming competitive in obedience, are other ways of providing more mental stimulation to a bored dog.

Mentally Stimulating Toys

There are several toys available to dog owners who wish to provide their dog with mental stimulation when the owner may not be able to otherwise do so. Some of these toys are puzzles of sorts, others are simply toys that can be filled with peanut butter, dog food, or other treats, and the dog must work to get them out.

Overall

If you have a smart dog it is up to you to provide it with proper mental stimulation. If you do not have time to keep your dog mentally happy, you should not select one of these smart dogs. Other options include hiring somebody to take your dog to the park and play with it, or taking it to a doggy daycare. Never punish a dog for digging in the yard, or destroying the furniture – provide it with something better to do!

Note - If your dog seems to be hyper, more than the breed normal, check his food for ingredients linked to causing behavioral problems in dogs.

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