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Do dogs get bored?

Melanie Coleman
Marriage & Family Therapy
Dogs experience all of the same emotions as humans. Dogs wag their tails when they are happy, wag their entire bodies when they are excited, bare their teeth and growl when they are angry, protective, and/or fearful, howl when they are sad or their ears hurt, and sleep or elicit negative attention when they are bored.  Have you ever come home to find that your dog has ripped the sofa to shreds? (Boredom) Or toilet papered your house with toilet paper they had dragged out of your bathroom? (Boredom) Have you ever found yourself letting your dog in and out of the house all evening because they were continuously scratching at the door? (Extreme boredom)   Spending time with your dog and doing things that your dog enjoys, e.g. going for a walk, getting a belly rub, chasing a ball or toy, engaging in some sort of task or job, usually goes a long way in helping your dog to combat boredom.

Researchers say dogs go get bored, especially if dogs are confined to cages. The boredom, which appears to stem from separation-related issues, can lead to abnormal behaviors. When dogs are left in a cage it stifles their inquisitive nature and their desire to explore. Confined dogs may try to destroy their cages, when they get bored. They may even chew excessively on themselves.

If you leave your dog caged all day, it's a good idea to keep toys and food in the cage to help reduce their boredom.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.