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Dealing with Dog Boredom? Here Are 7 Things to Do! | Pupford

November 13th, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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A bored dog often results in problematic behaviors. I'm talking about things like barking, destruction, digging, chewing, etc. that often happen when our dogs are bored!

So, what can we do to keep dogs from getting bored?

In the video below, I'm going to give you five ways to minimize your dog's boredom (plus 2 bonus tips for the article section), and we're going to do this in less than five minutes. They're going to be actionable things you can start doing every single day that are going to reduce your dog's boredom.

But before we get into the seven ways to minimize your dog's boredom, the most important thing you can do is physical exercise. Your dog needs physical exercise every single day. If you want them to be tired and not be as bored, they need physical exercise.

Now let's get into it!


As mentioned, this quick video is going to show actionable tips for reducing your dog's boredom. Watch below.


A bored dog is often one that behaves in undesirable ways. Here are 7 ways to keep your dog from getting bored:

  1. Exercise in the morning
  2. Give enrichment every meal
  3. Have toys accessible
  4. Work on trick training
  5. Take breaks during your day and play with your dog
  6. Puppy play dates
  7. Mental exercise & enrichment

Let's look at each boredom-busting idea below. 👇


dog exercising in the morning to keep from getting bored | Pupford

This one is vital. You can't expect your dog to sit around for the bulk of the day calmly if they haven't had some exercise in the morning.

It doesn't have to be anything extremely intense, but at a minimum, your dog needs a walk in the morning. I take my dogs either on a run or to play fetch every single morning and it makes a huge difference in their behavior during the day.

Giving your dog proper exercise is one of the most important things you can do to keep your dog from getting bored!

Proper exercise first thing in the day will help set the tone for your dog's behavior and happiness for the rest of the day.

🐶 Help keep your dog from getting bored by using enrichment toys. Shop here! 🐶


Probably the most important and the easiest thing that you can do is to give enrichment as part of every single meal that you feed your dog. My dogs are here waiting in their place, like very, very good girls. I'm just going to show you what I do for their meals every single day to give them a little bit of enrichment, to help reduce boredom. It doesn't matter if you're feeding kibble, raw, dehydrated food, whatever it is, you can find a way to use enrichment.

So it's this simple, get their food, I've got a Kong here. I'm going to fill the Kong with some of the food. See? Simple. And it gives your dog enrichment as part of every single meal. Another reason I like putting a Kong or something like that in their meal is because it slows them down and they have to eat around it.

They have to eat around it, gives them a little bit of enrichment just for that, and then you'll see, she'll pull her Kong out in a minute and have to eat her Kong.

You can see in the video above, that her meal is done. We're pretty much done. Scout is going to polish it off. And here she is, using the Kong, getting a little bit of enrichment as part of her meal. This didn't take me any extra time other than filling the Kong with her food. So, so easy.

Related Reading: My Dog Eats Too Fast! Here's How to Slow Down a Dog Eating


dog chewing on toy | Pupford

Another way you can keep your dog from getting bored is having toys accessible for them because then they can grab them whenever they want and do a little bit of self-regulating and keeping themselves entertained by having access to their own toys.

It doesn't have to be enrichment toys, even just a nice squeaky plush toy can help your dog entertain themself!


Another very simple thing to do that I really think makes a big difference for dogs not being bored is to work on trick training. So let me just show you a couple of fun, little tricks that I do with my dogs.

But really, it's whatever is fun for you, and it's just to get your dog moving, get them to use their brain, and you get some physical exercise at the same time.

Check out these trick training courses to teach your dog 40 fun tricks!


dog being bored while parent is on phone | Pupford

Let me preface this by saying that dogs typically thrive under structure and a schedule. But that doesn't mean you can't randomly pull out a toy and play with your pup for 5-10 minutes during the day.

Keeping your dog on their toes as to when play/training might occur will help keep them excited throughout the day! Truly, sometimes it is more productive to play for 10 minutes 6 times per day (example only) rather than 60 minutes at once for all their play.

🐶 Help keep your dog from getting bored by using enrichment toys. Shop here! 🐶

And the same goes for training, keep it short and keep it sporadic throughout the day!

My favorite work-from-home activity is to take a 5-minute break and play a solid game of tug of war!

tug of war can reduce dog boredom | Pupford

To keep your dog from getting bored you can take little breaks throughout the day or while you're watching TV or reading a book or whatever it is, and play fun little games with them. I love to play hide and seek with treats.

So I'll either get my dogs to go into their place. You can just get them to do a stay, you can put them in a different room, whatever works best, grab some treats, and I'm just going to sprinkle them in places not too hard, but sometimes I like to put them behind the garbage can or put them somewhere that it might be a little difficult for them to get.

You can make it as tough as you want. Just scatter them in different places. And then they just have to sniff them out and go find them!

It's truly an easy boredom boredom-busting activity for puppies and dogs!


One of the most effective forms of exercise for a dog is to have a puppy play date!

Dogs are much better at working each other's bodies and brains than humans are. Dog playing, wrestling, and chasing is a very effective tool to help your dog avoid getting bored.

Here are some things to look for in a puppy playmate for their date:

  • A similar-sized breed. We're not saying dogs of differing sizes can’t be playmates, but it can sometimes lead to one dog getting hurt. Larger dogs may not realize they are much bigger than their friends, and smaller dogs may not realize they are more fragile.
  • A dog of a similar age. Age is a good indicator of energy level. Matching your dog’s energy level is a good way to keep them entertained and engaged for the whole playdate.
  • A dog with similar play styles. A dog’s personality shows through playing. For example, Border Collies typically enjoy chasing, while Labs prefer to wrestle their playmates. Knowing your dog’s play style can help you find a friend who will play similarly, or at least in a way that won’t aggravate your dog.

No matter what, a play date can be a fun and effective way to reduce a dog's boredom!


dog playing with yellow mental stimulation toy | Pupford

Your dog's breed was not bred for thousands (or hundreds) of years to sit on a couch. In most cases, dogs were bred to perform a job or task.

Retrievers helped with retrieving fallen animals during hunting, pulling out nets for fishing, etc... they had a job every single day! You don't need your pup to have a 9-5, but your dog needs some tasks and "jobs" throughout the day.

You can do this with things like mental exercise toys, foraging, structured trick training, simple dog agility, and a whole host of other options.

The key is to figure out your dog's specific needs, types of reinforcement, and favorite activities, and then do those as much as possible!

Related Reading: Enrichment for Dogs

There is a wide variety of puzzle toys and enrichment activities you can use to help a bored dog. Mental stimulation is key!

Here are things you can do to provide mental stimulation for your dog:

The options are endless, but the value of mental exercise can't be understated!

🐶 Help keep your dog from getting bored by using enrichment toys. Shop here! 🐶


bored dog rolling around to get his humans attention | Pupford

Overall, the biggest key for a happy and not-bored dog is to make sure their basic needs are met! Our dogs need physical and mental stimulation each and every day, just like us humans.

Related Reading: 7 Signs Your Dog is Feeling Neglected

Dog boredom is something we as pup parents should try to avoid! When dogs are bored, it often leads to destructive behavior and a reduced ability to focus and listen. As a recap, here are 7 things to do if your dog is bored:

  1. Exercise in the morning
  2. Give enrichment every meal
  3. Have toys accessible
  4. Work on trick training
  5. Take breaks during your day and play with your dog
  6. Puppy play dates
  7. Mental exercise & enrichment

If you're looking for surefire ways to keep your dog from getting bored, you need to get some mental exercise toys. We carry a full range of toys to keep your puppy engaged and happy! Shop all enrichment toys here!

When does your dog get the most bored? What do you do to help your bored dog? Tell us in the comments.


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