Ever get home after a long day at work to find your dog has been digging in your favorite flowerbed or chewed up the sofa? This may well be a scenario that you have faced or wish to avoid in the future. This type of destructive behavior is most commonly caused by separation anxiety, after being left alone for many hours. However, it could also just be that the reason is simply just boredom.
Dogs need company and stimulation just as we humans do. It shouldn't, therefore, surprise you that your dog may get bored if left without company or interesting things to do for long periods of time. There are many ways in which your dog may try to relieve his boredom such as barking constantly, digging up your flowerbeds, chewing up the furniture and so on.
Dogs should never be left alone for longer than four hours at most. If because of your life circumstances or job, you can't avoid leaving your dog alone for long periods, here are some tips:
• Why not hire someone to take your dog for walks. Maybe you can get a friend or neighbour to walk your dog. If not, you could hire professional dog-walker. Not only does your dog get a chance to relieve himself, but the sights, sounds and smells of the neighborhood keep your dog's brain stimulated. Dogs love walks and it's great exercise also!
• Just as being an only child can be lonely, so can being an only puppy or dog. It could be well worth considering getting a second puppy or dog.
• Create a specific place in your garden where your dog can ease his boredom. You could create a digging pit where he can dig as much as he wants without ruining your flowerbeds. At the beginning it is important to reward him repeatedly with a treat left in the sandpit so that this has positive associations.
• Provide your puppy or dog with a few well-chosen chew toys and rotate them every day so that he doesn't become bored with them. Dispensing toys have a great interest for dogs when they are stuffed with treats as you can imagine. I would recommend that you try them. Also, keep your possessions out of the dog's reach if you don't want them chewed upI.
• Hiding treats around the house is one way that you can stimulate your dog's interest. Make sure that you hide the treats in easily accessible places, but that provide some challenge for them. You could hide them under an upside-down bowl or Frisbee, or in an old sock.
Hopefully you will find the tips given useful in overcoming your dog's boredom. Obviously when you are with your dog, make sure that you take him out for regular walks and play games with him. It is essential that you puppy dog is given the correct training.
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