5 Brilliant Ways to Prevent Dog Boredom

In this article, I share with you some interesting and exciting ideas that will help ensure that your dog never becomes bored, and if implemented, will also enrich your lives together. 

Dogs Running In The Sea

It's vital that dogs are provided with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to ensure that they remain happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. They are social creatures and you must regularly interact with your dog and avoid leaving them on their own for too long.

If a dog becomes bored they are likely to exhibit nuisance and destructive behavior, such as excessive chewing, digging, and barking. For more information on how to tell if your dog is bored please read 'Do Dogs Get Bored?'

Whether you need to provide your dog with entrainment while you are out, curb their boredom-induced destructive behavior or simply want to make their lives more fun, there are plenty of activities and ideas that you can introduce to them to enrich their lives. 

Please note, that if you are using treats for training or play, then you need to include them in their required daily calorie intake. You do not want to overfeed your dog.  

1. Take Your Dog on Stimulating Walks

Long walks provide lots of physical stimulation and leave your dog tuckered out. A sleepy dog who has released all their energy is far less likely to start displaying destructive behavior, such as chewing and digging, or barking for no good reason. 

Walks also provide plenty of mental stimulation as they have to engage their brain and all their senses are invigorated by the variety of smells, sounds, sights, and tastes that they experience. They may also meet a few other dog friends to interact and play with along the way. 

My dog walking tips:

  • If you work during the day then come home on your lunch break to take your dog for a walk, or inquire into a dog walking service.
  • You should be aiming to take your dog out on an hour's walk a day. However, some high-drive dogs will need more, and some dogs, such as puppies or those that are elderly, will need less.
  • Vary your walks and don't always take the same route. If you always leave the house and turn right, surprise them and turn left for once! Find new places in your area to explore. 
  • At the weekend plan long and exciting hikes to various locations. The exercise will be great for both of you! 
  • It's important that your dog gets time off the lead so that they can run at full pelt, enjoy themselves, and experience freedom. Make sure that you are in a safe place to do so and that you have mastered the recall command first.  
  • Do you have other friends with dogs that you can invite along? These social interactions will enrich your dog's life. 
  • Take toys with you such as the Kong Flyer for dogs, a frisbee that stays in the air a long time, allowing your dog to catch it. It is also made from soft rubber, which is gentle on the mouth. Another favorite of mine is the Chuckit Ball Launcher as it allows me to effortlessly throw a ball much further than I could without it (my dog doesn't get that disappointed 'is that it' look), he gets a lot more exercise and I can use it to pick the ball back up without getting slobber all over my hands.
  • While you are on your walk practice some obedience training, such as the 'stay' and 'come here' commands.

Kong Flyer
Don't be surprised if your dog insists on grabbing their new favorite toy on the way to the park! It provides plenty of exercise and it's wonderful to watch them learn to catch it in the air

ChuckIt Ball
Take your games of fetch from 0 to 100 as it effortlessly throws a ball long distances or up in the air for dogs that love to jump and catch. You'll also no longer get your hands covered in mud and saliva!


2. Play Mind Games

Taking your dog on lots of stimulating walks is great but to really enrich a dog's life you have to stimulate their mind too. I really recommend that you try out some dog mind games. The video below by Nick Benger shows four simple games that you can play with a dog and all you really need are some healthy treats and, for one of them, a towel.

1) Hide and seek
2) Hide a treat in a towel
3) Which hand is the treat in?
4) Find the treats around the room 

3. Dog Puzzles and Interactive Toys

Trixie has a large range of dog puzzles that are designed to combat boredom. Most of them involve your dog carrying out some basic problem-solving skills in order to access their reward, such as a food treat. As you are hiding all the treats teach your dog to 'wait' and then tell them to 'go find it!' Make sure you give them lots of praise when they are getting it right so that it is a positive social interaction. 

Interactive games should only be played under your supervision as some of them contain small pieces. 

Trixie Dog Games
Trixie has a large range of interactive puzzles for dogs with varying levels of difficulty. It's fun watching your dog learn to problem solve, and they provide hours of brain-stimulating enrichment

My dog also really enjoys Hide-A-Squirrel by Outward Hound, which involves hiding squirrels in a 'tree trunk' so your dog can seek them out. The squirrels have squeakers making them extra tantalizing! Also, there are no food treats involved so you don't have to worry about overdoing it on the calories. 

Dog Hide A Squirrel Toy
Most dogs go crazy for this toy, even dogs that don't usually like toys can't resist finding and savaging the squeaky squirrels

4. Training Sessions 

Regular training sessions help prevent boredom and allow you and your dog to have some one-on-one bonding time. As you practice your teamwork it will help strengthen your relationship. Training is a great way to get your dog to use their brain. There are different types of training, such as obedience, tricks, and agility. Keep the training fun and varied to maintain their interest.

Obedience Training. It will not only be mentally stimulating for your dog but it will help instill and improve their manners. 'Sit', 'stay', 'come', 'down', 'leave it' and 'heel' are some popular commands. Don't forget to practice your training not only while you are at home but out on your walks too. I am a fan of the dog trainer Victoria Stilwell as she puts a big emphasis on positive reinforcement and her techniques are very successful.

Victoria Stilwell: Train Your Dog Positively
Victoria Stilwell: Train Your Dog Positively
The ethos of this book is understanding your dog and creating mutual trust, respect and love through training, leading to a happy and well-mannered pup 
Available at Amazon

Tricks Training. Teaching your dog tricks is fun and more lighthearted than obedience training, so it's good to switch between the two. 'Roll over', 'shake', 'bow', and 'play dead' are just a few of the tricks that you can teach your dog. The 'Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever' is the clearest, biggest, and best tricks training book I have ever seen, with tricks for every skill level.

The Big Book of Tricks
Teaching tricks prevents boredom, instills confidence, strengthens your bond, and it's super fun! You may also discover some hidden talents! This book is a clear step-by-step guide with beautiful pictures
Available at Amazon

Agility Training. For those who are really seeking a challenge and a new hobby, that both you and your dog can enjoy together, try agility training. Your dog will learn how to tackle various obstacles, such as tunnels, jumps, and weave poles. You can either join an agility club or get your own Dog Agility Equipment, as well as The Beginner's Guide to Dog Agility book, and start training your dog at home or in the park.

Dog Agility Equipment
Agility training is a fun way to bond with your dog while providing exercise and mental stimulation. Create your own agility obstacle course and start training straight away in your backyard. You'll be so proud as you progress together

The Beginner's Guide to Dog Agilty
An easy-to-read step-by-step guide, full of helpful tips, for competing professionally or just enjoying time together in your yard

5. Keeping Them Entertained Even When They Are Home Alone

Dogs are social animals and they can easily become bored when left at home alone. Here are my suggestions to help prevent boredom while you are out. 

A Walk Prior To Leaving. Before you go out take your dog on a walk to tire them out. A tired-out dog is far less likely to be destructive. Consider hiring a professional dog walker if your dog is to be left on their own for a long period of time.

Peanut Butter In A Kong. A popular way to keep your dog occupied while you are out is to give them a Kong, which is a rubber chew toy that you can smear peanut butter inside it. You also put it in the freezer overnight so that it takes them longer to lick all the peanut butter out. Freezing is also a great trick for hot summer days.

Classic Kong
It's extremely durable against chewing and can be stuffed with treats. After your dog's emptied the contents they can toss it around. It makes a great game of fetch due to its unpredictable bounce. Undoubtedly one of the most popular toys ever made

Play Soothing Music. Leave the radio or the television on so that your dog doesn't feel so alone. Music specifically designed to keep dogs calm and help them relax can be found on the YouTube channel, 'Relax My Dog', which has helped millions of dogs around the world.   

Create Food Challenges. There are feeders and bowls that require problem-solving skills in order to access food and treats. They make mealtimes more of a challenge and turn a 1-minute gobble into a 10-minute brain-engaging experience.

These are my favorite interactive dog feeders: 

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive
Bob-A-Lot Toy
You can put treats or fit a full meal inside. The holes can be adjusted to vary the difficulty and its weighted design makes it bob erratically, further enticing your dog

Outward Hound Slow Feeder Bowls
These slow feeders come in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes, and slow feeding down by 10x. They can be used with wet or dry food, and are made from food-safe material

Northmate Interactive Feeder
Is it a plant or contemporary art? No, it's a really funky interactive feeder! Beneficial for your dog's mind, but also beneficial for their tummy as it helps to reduce bloat. It can be used with wet or dry food and is easy to clean in the dishwasher

For more information on what behavior to expect if your dog is bored please read "Do Dogs Get Bored?'


  1. I am really excited to try out some of these ideas. I actually really like the idea of some training, hopefully you can teach an old dog new tricks!

  2. Special music CDs for dog, now that is cute!

  3. This post gives some pretty neat ideas for keeping your dog out of trouble while you are away. Many dogs do exhibit destructive behavior while their owners are at work, or otherwise away from home. The author says that most dogs who exhibit bad behavior while their owners are away simply are not getting enough exercise.

    1. Hi there, there are a variety of reasons that dogs may exhibit undesirable behaviour while their owners are out, but one way to help to prevent this is to take them on a long walk prior to being left alone to help release some of that pent up energy and tire them out. Hope that helps clear things up. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for sharing my video Kate!

    1. It is a brilliant video and worth a share! You and you dog are amazing together and he is very lucky to have such a caring owner, I hope others will be inspired too!

  5. Your post is very helpful, thank you. Taking a new puppy home with you can be one of the most challenging phases of owning a new dog and one of the most difficult tasks is to get the puppy to stop barking. See more http://dogsaholic.com/puppies/puppy-stop-barking.html

  6. I take my dog on at least three 30 minute walks a day. In the morning before I go to work, during my lunch break, and we go to the park after I get home at night so he can run without a leash and interact with other dogs. He has no shortage of toys, including a kong and a toy that has a water bottle inside that he loves. However, he is still being destructive when I am not home. One thing about him is that he is not used to being alone. He has always had another dog. Do you think adding another, older dog to the house will help with his boredom?

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