Did you know that dogs get bored just like people? Boredom can result in some pretty bad behavior for your dog. A bored dog can become aggressive and/or become very anxious. This can result in destructive behavior, such as chewing on things and nuisance barking.
I'm lucky in that I get to be with my dog 24 hours a day, for the most part. She sleeps under my desk during the day, sits on the couch with me in the evening, and sleeps in her dog bed on the floor next to me every night. I wouldn't say she never gets bored, but at least I'm around if she wants to play or needs to go out. Obviously, for most people this just isn't an option. So what can you do to help alleviate boredom?
Get into a routine of spending some quality time with your dog. If your dog knows that at the end of every day he'll get to spend some time with you, be it taking a walk or a run, or just playing fetch for a few minutes, he'll actually look forward to it. I'm not kidding! Dogs are like people, they get used to routines, and once one has been established, they'll expect it.
Not only will that few minutes of play time get some extra energy out of your dog, it helps promote a healthier and happier dog. Play time also strengthens the bond that exists between you and your dog. Having a dog is just like having a relationship, you need to invest in that relationship to create long term happiness.
For those times when you can't be around, provide your dog with toys that will keep him busy mentally and physically. Kong toys are great for this. Many of them can be filled with small treats or flavored pastes, and it becomes a game for your dog to get to the treat. Get a couple of these and I promise your dog will be entertained for awhile.
Keeping your dog from experiencing boredom will have some great side effects. He will be more obedient, and less prone to misbehaving. Happier dogs are healthier dogs. Healthier dogs live longer and will be around for years for you to enjoy.