Bored dogs, just like bored teenagers, want “something to do”. But, of course, exercise alone won’t cure your dog’s boredom. Dogs naturally need physical exercise to stay fit and healthy. But a tired dog isn’t necessarily a calm dog.
The same goes for people. There’s a “good tired”. You know,… that calm feeling that comes after playing a challenging game, building, creating, producing a result, or solving a problem. The kind of activity that engages both body and mind is enriching and satisfying.
However, the other kind of tired…the not so good kind… comes after a lot of activity that keeps you busy but without mental enrichment. Work that doesn’t also engage the mind can leave you feeling exhausted and restless. Not calm. Not satisfied.
Think about the last time you had to figure something out. It feels great when you find the answer, right? Activity that also involves a mental challenge is enrichment. We love a challenge because we know that success brings a great payoff in the end. But without a mental challenge finishing brings only exhaustion…and boredom.
That’s why a tired dog is not necessarily a happy dog. And it’s also why your dog can still get into trouble -even if you think he gets plenty of exercise.
Don’t forget – If your dog is awake, he’s learning. The environment is his teacher and his toolbox. A bored dog will look for enrichment wherever he can find it. Being outside to “exercise” by himself, won’t cure your dog’s boredom. His mind will go to work seeking out something entertaining to chew on, dig up, eat, or chase.
If you’re wondering how to punish a bored dog for chewing, digging, etc., think again. Because you’re asking the wrong question. A better question, the right question, would be asking how to bring enrichment into your dog’s activity. How can you offer him challenges which you intentionally devise to replace his boredom with engagement?
Anybody who lives with a dog has abundant opportunity to spread enrichment like sprinkles on ice cream.
Here’s what I mean…
For example, you can manage interruptions instead of resisting them. To do that, discover how to give your dog 10-15 seconds of meaningful engagement followed by positive redirection. That’s instead of 10-15 minutes of resisting the interruption followed by frustration/irritation and your dog’s confusion/anxiety. You can choose a win-win or a lose-lose – an easy choice, yes?
One more example. Play easy games so your dog’s best behavior is the most fun. When played correctly, training games like tug, fetch, and hide-and-seek can be used to elicit ideal behavior. One game that’s used to launch lots of valuable skills is targeting. Specifically, hand targeting introduces loose leash walking, greeting guests politely, coming when called, and not jumping on you.
Sounds amazing, right?
Maybe it also sounds too complicated? Too difficult? Too time-consuming? All this business of devising games and redirecting? Are you silently wondering if punishment would be faster?
What if it were both easy and fast? What if you could capture tiny teachable moments lasting only a minute or two and use them now to shape your dog’s future behavior?
And what if I showed you how to transform the time you are already spending with your dog into enriching win-win accomplishments without any fancy equipment or intimidating treatment of your dog?
Last time, I promised you a sanity solution to understanding dogs. If you missed it, it’s all in last week’s blog post.
If you’re ready for the sanity solution, then it’s ready for you!
I’m calling it
At Home With Dogs 1.0
This guide is a 12-minute video training guide covering 5 simple steps to a cooperative family pet. The video is short and easily downloadable but still covers nearly 50 pages of how-to instructions, step-by-step lesson plans, and demonstration videos. Pause the video to study, replay to clarify as frequently as you wish.
Here’s what’s inside:
Good timing clarifies your message because when you reward the right thing at the right time, you get the right results.
The game of give-and-take teaches your dog to wait for permission so that self-control replaces force and restraint.
Teach your dog to go to his place/bed. Break it down into small easy steps and see how quickly your dog figures it out.
Hand targeting makes it so simple to redirect your dog when he jumps on you or on others.
**New** Teach the On/Off Switch and turn off unwanted behaviors as easily as flipping a switch!
At Home With Dogs is not a comprehensive dog training course. It is, rather, a jump start guide for dog owners who want quick answers and simple solutions to some of the unexpected challenges of finding themselves suddenly at home with the dog more than usual.
I want you, my subscribers and clients, to have the chance to get this video guide for a limited time at a 72% discount. And because this is a brand new offer, I’m throwing in two more bonus dog training guides at no charge.
But only you can decide if this is right for you and your dog. I included some of my best dog training advice and I made it incredibly affordable – a tiny fraction of the cost of private lessons! Not deciding won’t cure your dog’s boredom
Click the button below. Check it out and decide for yourself!