Here’s some expert tips from our Melbourne Daycare for Dogs team on how you can keep your dog stimulated while at home…
Most of us realise it’s important to have a well behaved dog. We don’t want a pup that’s constantly tunneling into next door’s garden, barking incessantly or running off and not returning. But when we think about how to have a well behaved dog, we think of training courses, doggie daycare, positive reinforcement, leads and clickers. And that’s completely correct!
So why, when you do all of these things, does your dog still chew your favourite shoes, scratch furniture and leap (quite literally) at the chance to escape the backyard?
It might simply be because they’re bored at that moment.
What To Consider First To Keep Your Dog Stimulated
#1 – Your Dog’s Breed
Different pups were bred for different roles (such as herding, guarding, hunting and pulling) and it’s important you take this into account when thinking about how/why your dog needs to be stimulated.
A Border Collie will feel much more satisfied if they’re put to work and will excel in canine sports such as sheep herding. Likewise, they need a lot of exercise to burn up any excess energy they’re likely to have.
#2 – Your Dog’s Exercise Needs
Not only does the right amount of exercise help to keep the weight off and your dog healthy, but it also stimulates their brain.
When your dog is out on a walk, they see new sights, smell new things, make new friends and practise skills such as swimming and playing. Both their body and brain are getting a workout!
If your dog isn’t engaging their brain and body, then they won’t feel fully stimulated. This energy and frustration can easily turn into negative behaviour which we want to avoid.
Reasons To Keep Your Dog Stimulated
There are many reasons why it’s so important to keep your dog stimulated and engaged with their surroundings. Here are some of the most common ones.
#1 – Prevent Destructive Behaviour in Pups
A huge reason to keep your dog mentally stimulated is to stop them from damaging objects around the house. Dogs that are alone for long periods of time, haven’t had enough exercise or attention from you can easily become destructive and anxious.
Dogs generally have high-energy levels (not looking at the Basset Hound) and this energy needs to be put to good use. They need to engage their brains, learn new things and have new experiences if this energy isn’t going to turn into frustration. If they haven’t got classes to go to, puzzle games to play with or someone to keep them company, your shoes will start to look really appealing and digging up the yard will suddenly be very entertaining.
Many dogs are also highly intelligent, especially working breeds, and it’s very important their brains aren’t forgotten about. If they’re not positively taught new tricks or trained well, they’ll use this intelligence in other ways, such as destroying your favourite objects or planning their great escape.
#2 – Stop Your Dog From Being Sad
As a loving pet owner, you absolutely don’t want your dog to be unhappy. A reason they’re feeling a little blue could be because they’re bored and aren’t engaging their brains. If they don’t feel excited by learning new things, using their senses or playing with new toys, they’re likely to feel a little glum and not want to participate in things they used to love.
#3 – Prevent Hyperactivity and Attention-Seeking Behaviour
If a dog is bored, they may try to get your attention by behaving badly. As mentioned above, they may start being destructive, but it could also be incessant barking, scratching doors, urinating inside and ‘knowingly’ being naughty.
#4 – Prevent Aggression
A reason why a dog may be showing signs of aggression is that they’re frustrated, anxious or really bored. If your pup isn’t getting enough exercise, mental stimulation or attention from you, their frustration may come out as aggression because they’re not sure what else to do.
Keep Them Stimulated With Daycare For Dogs
Just like with humans, it’s really important that our dogs’ brains are put to use and that they’re well stimulated. If a dog gets bored, this boredom can turn into all sorts of unwanted behaviour which may prove tricky for you and your dog to deal with.
Check out our Melbourne Daycare for Dogs!
There are many ways to make sure your dog is happy and stimulated at home. But a great way to keep them happy, social and well-behaved is taking them to a Melbourne doggie daycare. Our daycare for dogs is located in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Burwood, and we’ve been keeping dogs stimulated and socialised for over 10 years.
Not only do we offer a safe and fun place for your pup to meet and socialise with other dogs, but we also offer extra enrichment packages. They’ll take part in a wide range of fun and stimulating activities to ensure you have a happy and well behaved dog at the end of the day!