To answer the question “Do dogs get bored?” the short answer is “no they don’t”.
So why do people think that dogs get bored? A few reasons:
- We frequently put human thoughts and emotions onto our dogs.
- Some dogs behave destructively when they are left alone.
- Some dogs have a “mad half hour” where they rush round and round.
- Many dogs will spend the day lying down and sighing when their owners are getting on with other things.
Let me reassure you on each point:
1. The only reason human’s get bored is because we know that we are going to survive.
- If you are stressed or anxious about something, do you feel bored?
- If you thought that you were under threat in some way, would you feel bored?
- If you didn’t know where half your family was, and whether they were going to come back, would you feel bored?
People think that dogs get bored, because they don’t realise what their dogs are actually concerned about, day in day out. Once the stress and anxiety has passed, they then relax and conserve their energy for the next time they might need it!
2. Separation anxiety does not mean dogs get bored.
Destructive behaviour while you are out is not because your dog is bored. Much worse. Your dog is very worried about being separated from you, because it thinks that it might be responsible for looking after you. If your dog is destructive while you are out, it’s best to get a dog listener to come and help you as soon as possible. For the sake of your dog and your home! I have a separation anxiety blog you can read.
3. The mad half hour, or hyperactive behaviour can happen for a number of different reasons.
- Your dog is trying to initiate play. Dog do enjoy play, just like humans do, but they don’t play because they are bored.
- Your dog is shaking off a little nervous energy.
- You dog thinks it is meant to be doing something, and is rushing around trying to work out what.
- It is seeking attention.
4. Sighing is a GOOD sign!
Imagine this: You get home from work, make a cup of tea, kick off your shoes, sit down on your comfy sofa and pick up your book. “Ahhhhhhhhh….. lovely”. If you are busy getting on with something, your dog works out that that they are not needed at the moment, so they lie down and enjoy a bit of relaxation instead.
If your dog does anything else that makes you think that it is bored, then please comment on this post, or ask me via my Facebook page. I would be happy to answer your questions.