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A Bored Dog is a Naughty Dog - It's Time to Be a Better Pet Owner

 by petbucket on 13 May 2015 |
5 Comment(s)
Is your dog damaging your possessions or digging holes in your backyard? You may be tempted to enlist a trainer, but save your money. The answer to your dog woes may be as simple as modifying your behavior. Follow these tips to turn your bored and naughty dog into a happy and well-behaved pet.
 
Understand Your Breed's Traits
Historically, dogs were expected to work alongside their owners. Herding breeds rounded up livestock. Terriers are chasers and diggers and were used to protect property from trespassers, both human and animal. Sporting dogs, including golden retrievers and labs, helped in the field and on the water to retrieve fowl and fish. These canine tasks are rarely needed during modern life, but your dog still has these natural tendencies. Do some research on your breed's traits, and then devise appropriate activities. For example, you'll find that herding breeds excel at dog sports, terriers enjoy agility courses and games of fetch, and sporting dogs are natural swimmers.
 
A Few Short Walks a Day is Not Enough
If you have a dog that gnaws on table legs or devours slippers, clearly she needs another outlet. Commit to giving her a long walk every day. For some breeds, 30 minutes is enough, but high-energy dogs can benefit from at least an hour or more of vigorous exercise. And so can you! If you are unsure if your dog is a good candidate for a hike or a jog, consult your vet.
 
Respond to Your Dog's Barking
Are you shushing your barking dog? Don't. Barking is one of the ways your dog communicates, so take the time to figure out what he's trying to say. If your dog approaches, looks you in the eye, and barks, maybe he needs to go to the bathroom. Some dogs bark when they're hungry or when they want the family to hang out in one room together. Others bark to alert you to a stranger, or to warn you that a thunderstorm is brewing well before you can hear it. As soon as your dog barks, acknowledge him by saying, "Do you need to go outside?" or "Thank you for letting me know the delivery man is here." Your immediate response will let your dog know he has been heard and understood, and it may result in less barking moving forward.
 
Schedule Playdates
Many breeds are pack animals, and will thrive when socializing with other dogs. A visit to the dog park is a good first step, as long as your dog has all their necessary vaccinations. When there, make sure to keep an eye on her. If she's wagging her tail, enjoying chasing and being chased, and engaging in playful wrestling, that's good. If she seems intimidated by the group or is overly aggressive, then try a different socialization strategy. Your dog may prefer the company of just one dog at a time. Schedule playtime with a friend's dog, or suggest that a neighbor and their dog join you for an after-dinner stroll around the block.
 
Take Your Dog with You
Many people leave their pets at home when they run errands or go to their child's game. But the more time he's left alone, the more bored and destructive he may become. As long as the temperature isn't too hot or cold, and pets are allowed at the venue, bring your dog. He will be thrilled with your companionship, and the exposure to a variety of situations will eventually tire him out. Plus, you won't find his dog bed ripped apart when you return home!
 
Unleash Your Dog
Are your walks outdoors always on-leash? Start exploring the world off leash. Professional trainers recommend that this be done in baby steps, especially with a dog who has rarely been off-leash previously. Begin in an area where your dog won't be distracted by people, animals, and traffic, like your yard or a secluded area of a local park. Place bits of meat in your pocket, and then invite your dog to walk with you, rewarding her every so often with a treat. These outings may take place over several weeks and only last 15 minutes at a time. The key is to get your dog to respond consistently to your commands. Then gradually move your walks to areas that contain more distractions - examples include a neighborhood sidewalk or a popular trail. Have extra treats and a leash at the ready, in case your dog finds something so tempting that she can't resist an enthusiastic greeting. Over time, your repeated off-leash adventures will significantly build the rapport between you and your dog, and make her more responsive to your direction.      
 
When it comes to addressing your dog's mischievous behavior, there's no need to spend money on a trainer. Instead, introduce your dog to new and interesting experiences, taking into account his breed and temperament. Your commitment to varying your dog's physical activities and increasing his socialization opportunities will result in a better-behaved pet

Comment(s)5

SusieCambodia - Comment
SusieCambodia13 May 2015Reply
My dog is a shepherd mix and a people pleaser. He's perfect except if he's bored too long. For example if we don't play with him off and on throughout the day or if we don't go for a walk at least 3 times a week. He will dig holes in the yard. We bought him a femur bone at the local feed store and that really helped too. He has an inside bone and an outside bone.
chris - Comment
chris14 May 2015Reply
Dogs need 2 walks a day, if they aren't getting that it's no surprise they are bored.
Karen - Comment
Karen14 May 2015Reply
My dog loves to escape over the fence when we are not here. We have a one acre block where she can sniff and roam, she has lots of attention and love, warm beds and a companion to spend time with. We take her for a walk most days where she can explore but she still escapes when the mood takes her and despite altering the fence, she manages to get over it although we've never caught her.
We are at a loss to know how to control her urges.
Sammi - Comment
Sammi14 May 2015Reply
my dog used to obey my husband and was well mannered . after kicking my ex husband out the dogs mannerisms changed completely, can no longer walk him as soon as we get out the gate starts bucking like a bronco and has like a panic attack.
wont do commands unless its food or something he really wants , starting to snap at our other animals as well, getting quite frightening. he is a 4 year old Blue Heeler.
Kaye - Comment
Kaye19 May 2015Reply
I acquired a small unwanted dog when she was 3 years old. Over the past 2 years I have learnt to communicate fairly well with her and she has become a loving pet. I would love to let her walk without the lead but she heads for home instantly and she doesn't seem to have any road sense. We went to a large park one day and she took off for home and tried to cross a busy road. No amount of calling would persuade her to stop. I would be devastated if I lost her.

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