Boredom Busters: Breaking Bad-behavior Patterns
Your dog has a good life. Car rides, treats, toys, walks and love fill her days. Then why does she try to run away each time the door is open? It’s a complex problem, but the answer is usually simple: Boredom.
Just like people, dogs are smart, social creatures who are susceptible to the same pitfalls we fall prey to when we don’t feel stimulated. For example, many of us find that unhealthy habits emerge when our day feels tedious or boring. For humans, these unhealthy habits might include overeating, nail biting and procrastination. For dogs, bad habits associated with boredom might mean running away, digging, destructive chewing, endless barking and other unwanted behaviors.
Though all dogs are vulnerable, destructive or unwanted behaviors associated with boredom seem to be most likely to be a problem for working breeds. Huskies, for example, are notorious diggers; Great Pyrenees might wander. Retrievers might chew when feeling bored.[img src="/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/adorable-1850465_640-632x421.jpg"]
Keeping your dog stimulated is the best way to combat boredom. Relying on a positive reinforcement training method to teach your dog good manners and even tricks will keep him engaged and help discourage running away and other undesirable behavior. Additionally, a training program will keep his mental synapses firing, diminish boredom and even him relax.
Other things you can do to prevent boredom and help curb your dog’s destructive behavior might include: Choosing the right toys for your dog can also help diminish boredom. Food-dispensing puzzle toys and Kong-type chew toys give your dog a yummy reward for cracking the code.[img src="/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/dog-1318424_640-632x420.jpg"]
Instead of just turning your dog loose in your fenced yard to entertain herself, play with her. Turn outside time into an engaging experience. Take your training to new environments. Adding new distractions – like those in the park or on the square downtown – to your dog’s training routine can create new challenges, in a good way! Even walking a new route through your neighborhood can stimulate your dog and expose her to new sights, smells and sounds.[img src="/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ball-191978_640-632x420.jpg"]
Helping your dog break out of a boredom rut can not only stop unwanted behaviors, but can also strengthen your relationship. My Curious Canine’s positive reinforcement training techniques teach you how to build a connection with your dog built on respect and proper communication. For more information, learn more about my dog training style or contact me to book an appointment.