A good way to tell if your dog is bored is that you don’t come back to the same house you left in the morning on the way to work. A bored dog is likely to be a “devil dog” Things like tearing up rugs, chewing up curtains, shoes or (GASP!) your favorite pair of smoking slippers may become more frequent.
Though you might think they do these things out of anger, in fact, that’s never the case. Dogs simply become extremely frustrated without physical or mental stimulation. So you could say a bored dog is frequently an under-exercised or under stimulated dog.
Another clue your dog may be bored is that your dog is jumping all over you the moment you walk through the door or they are following you around like flies on……. well, you get the picture. However, they could also be on the opposite end of the spectrum and simply lie on the ground as if they have simply shut down and given up on trying to get attention or stimulation.
The reality is that most of us have to work during the day, so if you can’t spend hours at a time with your dog, make sure you are spending some good quality time. Walk them in the morning before work or go to the park and play some ball. Take them for a run at night or a swim on the weekend. Whatever they like to do, find a way to fit it into your schedule. A doggy daycare, even a few days a week, can also work wonders.
And remember, don’t make a big deal of coming and going. Long, dramatic goodbyes will only get them worked up before you walk out. The same goes for when you come home. Say hello calmly so as not to encourage jumping or other bad behavior. Establish some type of routine so your dog gets used to what happens when you come home. That way when they see that you’re settled, they will do the same.
(Some of these behaviors might be caused by a larger medical or behavioral issue, so be sure to talk to your vet if you are concerned.)