Dogs get bored, just like humans. The average dog has a mental age in human terms equivalent to about a two-year-old, or maybe slightly more in some cases. If you have any experience with two-year-olds, you will know just how quickly they can and do get bored. Dogs are little different to toddlers in many respects, and require regular stimulation to combat the effects of boredom.
Relieving boredom in your dog is not only good for your pet, it will save money. The reason is simple, bored dogs can, and usually do, become destructive. They will chew on furniture, scrape things, dig holes in the garden, and generally do things that can cost you money to repair. They will also be more likely to bark at just about anything that moves, and a lot of things that don’t move. This can cause problems with neighbors, for example, and it’s often one of the main reasons why postmen are targeted by dogs. It’s definitely in your interests to avoid boredom in your dog.
Dogs, like small children, like to play a lot. In fact, dogs that don’t get much chance to play and have fun, often start displaying signs of aggression. They may also suffer from anxiety. Playing with your dog has many benefits for both of you. If your dog gets the much needed exercise, it will help your dog be healthy, and can save you money in greatly reduced bills at your pet clinic; an unhealthy dog can be a very expensive one.
Bonding with your pet through play is one of the best ways to have a well-balanced dog with good physical and mental health. There’s really little point in keeping a pet if you don’t spend quality time with it, and you both benefit considerably when you do. Obedience training is a great way to engage your pet in something meaningful. When done properly, your dog will love it, and you will get to have a more obedient dog who knows the boundaries better.
One way of playing with your dog is to hide treats around the house. Your pet will quickly get the hang of the game and will become adept at finding the treats in record time. This will challenge your pet mentally and physically, and if you make it a regular part of the day, they will look forward to it, and might force you to play, even if you don’t feel up to it.
Dogs love to play tug of war too. They are naturals at tugging hard on just about any object and will really struggle to win. This activity will not make your pet more aggressive. In fact, the opposite is the case; they are able to release any aggressive feelings through play, which is a much more healthy way of dealing with it. Old clothes are great for playing tug of war with your dog, but make sure he or she knows that it is only the old clothes that you provide that can be used, and not any clothes found lying around. To play tug-of-war safely, you want to follow some guidelines such as you always initiate a game, you are always in control and only play if your dog will release the tug toy and sit at any time.
If you enjoyed this article, you might find the following interesting as well… How To Exercise Your Dog, 4 Games to Play with Your Cat or Dog.