How to tell if your dog is bored? (8 common signs)

Wondering if your dog is bored? Want to know how to keep your dog mentally stimulated? Here are some common signs your dog is bored and what to do about it.
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Dogs are not like cats. Cats are solitary animals that can easily amuse themselves. Dogs, though, are social animals that need significant amounts of attention. 

A dog will get bored if left alone for too long and can even develop depression. If you’ve ever wondered if your dog is bored, the answer is yes. Research shows that animals can get bored just like we humans do.

In this guide you will discover the causes of boredom in dogs, and what you can do about it.

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Bored?

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Dogs are social creatures that can easily (and quickly!) get bored if not given enough attention. 

Dogs are meant to be busy, and if you don’t give them a good opportunity to use their energy, they will find unhealthy ways to discharge the energy. A bored dog is a dangerous dog. In most cases, this can lead to destructive behaviors. 

How to tell if your dog is bored? The following are the signs you need to look out for:

1. Destructive Chewing

Chewing is a common sign of boredom in dogs. Your dog may decide to chew to satisfy his natural urge to chew. Chewing is fun for dogs. This can occur at any age, but the main time is when your dog loses his puppy teeth around 16 weeks and also when his back molars come in around seven months. So if you come home to find a half-eaten shoe, this could be a sign that your dog is bored.

2. Digging

If your dog is bored or left alone for long periods of time, he can resort to digging. A bored dog may try to create his own fun by engaging in digging behavior.

Digging can be fun for dogs, which makes it a great way to relieve boredom. So if your dog is digging a hole in your backyard, he is probably suffering from boredom or anxiety.

3. Excessive Barking 

Many things can cause a dog to bark, but boredom is the number one cause of excessive barking. A bored dog with nothing to do always resorts to constant barking and can exercise his frustration in the form of barking.

This happens when a dog lacks stimulation, either through a lack of physical exercise or mental stimulation. 

4. Trying to Escape

If your dog tries to escape whenever he can, this may be his way of telling you that he needs more fun in his life. The main motivation that drives dogs to escape is boredom and isolation. 

In the case of a dog that is left indoors for long periods of time without any interaction, frustration and boredom from social isolation are the likely causes.

5. Hyperactivity 

A bored dog has the energy to spare. If your puppy is constantly switching from one activity to another without being settled and always seeking attention, boredom may be the cause.

Hyperactive dogs tend to be restless, compulsive, panting excessively, and can become aggressive or snappish when stressed out.

6. Sleeping All The Time

Like humans, a lot of dogs nap when bored just because they have nothing better to do. It is common for dogs to spend a large part of their day sleeping. Many indoor dogs will sleep all through the day due to boredom. 

If you suspect that your dog is bored, you can give him plenty of toys to play with or take him out for walks all through the day. If your dog has enough to do during the day, he will stay awake during the day and then sleep at night.

7. Look Mopey

Sometimes a bored dog may look sad. Your dog may lie with his chin on the ground, staring at you sadly, or sit alone and miserable. Mopey dogs may lie still or fidgety, moving from place to place as they try to find something to do. Dogs are like humans in several ways. 

They can be happy, sick, or sad. They go through a miserable period of time. When dogs are bored, they display certain behaviors that let you know that they are feeling frustrated.

8. Whining

This can be a result of boredom, especially in small dogs. If you find your dog following you around whining, this may be a sign of him begging for attention. Sometimes dogs whine simply because no one is paying attention to them.

This is just like how young children cry when they get bored and want you to do something. Your dog wants someone to play with or something to keep him busy.

If your dog displays any of these behaviors, he is definitely bored. The important thing is to understand that your furry pal is bored and look for a way to occupy his time while you are away.

Unfortunately, many dog owners feel bad about the situation but don’t know how to handle it. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss ways you can handle your dog’s boredom.

How to Relieve Dog Boredom (6 Ways)

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Now that you can tell when your dog is bored, there is no doubt that you will be wondering what you can do to relieve your dog’s boredom

The best way to combat your dog’s boredom is to keep him engaged and mentally stimulated. 

With this in mind, the following are some other ways you can relieve and prevent your dog from getting bored:

1. Spend Time With Your Dog 

Though you can’t spend the whole day entertaining your dog, you can spend some time with your dog on a daily basis. Dogs are social creatures and crave companionship.

If you work long hours or have to travel for work, you need to get someone to check on your dog to break up the long hours of loneliness. 

Also, if possible, you can take your dog for a walk or play with him before you leave the house. This will probably make him tired, and he will likely be sleeping instead of being bored. 

2. Exercise Your Dog

Dogs love to exercise; they need both mental and physical exercises to be able to overcome boredom. If you are too busy, you can employ a dog walker to exercise your dog daily.

Several pet care facilities offer dog walking services. They will send an experienced dog person to your home to walk your dog on regularly scheduled visits. 

For dog parents whose work days are too long, a dog walker may be the only way your dog can get much-needed exercise. The more exercise your dog gets, the happier it will be.

3. Give Your Dog a Kong

A new toy can keep your dog busy during the day while he is home alone. There are a lot of amazing fun toys available today that can keep your dog’s attention.

One of the best toys for a bored dog is the classic Kong toy. This toy can be stuffed with your dog’s favorite treats; your dog will work to get the food out. Read more about the kong toy here.

4. Give Your Dog Chew Toys

Most dogs like to chew, and chew toys are great ways to keep them entertained. Providing your dog with tasty chew toys like the Nylabone Dura Chew Bone is an excellent way to keep even the most mischievous dog out of trouble.

Another favorite choice is Benebone; this toy is tasty, durable, and generally less expensive. Edible chew toys can also be a great way to relieve your bored dog.

5. Change Your Walking Routine

Your daily walk with your dog can be a little bit boring if you walk the same route every day. Instead, change the routine by walking around new neighborhoods. 

Changing your walking route means that your dog will get the most out of the exercise. Another way to make sure your dog is mentally stimulated is to also change when you go for a walk. 

As creatures of habit, we as humans easily slip into a routine when taking our dog out for exercise. But, it is better to walk your furry pal at different times each day.

6. Doggy Daycare

Dog daycare is an excellent alternative to leaving your dog at home. It allows you to leave your dog in a safe place where he receives lots of attention and play, as well as the opportunity to socialize with other dogs.

In addition, a weekly trip to doggie daycare will keep your dog busy and help him develop his socialization skills. 

At doggy daycare, your furry pal will receive a lot of attention from a dog-loving team that will be there to please him with affection and play.

What to Do if Your Dog’s Boredom Problem Persists

If the problem persists, consult your vet. Most of the time, what is seen as boredom may actually be something else. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you will need the help of a professional dog trainer who specializes in separation anxiety because an enrichment activity program alone will not work.


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Combating boredom in dogs seems overwhelming and even impossible when faced with a devastating scene and an unhappy dog. Still, with a few simple tools and a little time and effort on your part, you can give your dog a lot of excitement and interesting things to do.

Remember, no matter the activity, spending time with your dog is the best way to fight dog boredom. 

And if you have tried all of these recommendations but still feel like your furry pal is still bored, don’t delay seeking professional help. 

See your vet as there may be another underlying problem.

That being said, there is nothing left but to thank you for your attention up to this point.

I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved puppy.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns along the way, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Until next time!

A big hug.

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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