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Dog Boredom: Common Symptoms and Easy Solutions

Dog Boredom: Common Symptoms and Easy Solutions

By: Hike Doggie

Imagine this scenario: You work hard all day. You come home ready to relax. You walk in the house to a disaster. A knocked over trash can, a shredded up throw pillow, and your favorite shoe was destroyed. Perhaps dog boredom may have gotten the best of someone…

You look at your lovable fur baby who is SO excited you are home, and you know they are guilty. You want to get mad at them, but can we really blame them?

Your dog has been home alone all day, most likely with no physical or mental stimulation, and they are BORED. Dog Boredom is a real problem that requires real solutions. 

dog boredom

What are some symptoms that your dog is bored?

  • Chewing. Whether this is your furniture, the bottom of the front door, or your favorite shoes… chewing is a sign of having too much energy.
  • Digging. Sometimes this looks like frantically digging holes when you let them outside. Other times this looks like trying to “dig” their way out of the house or crate. 
  • Tipping stuff over. Another sign that your dog is bored is them knocking things over, especially the trash can.  
  • Excessive barking or whining. If there is no visible threat, yet your dog will just NOT stop screaming, there is probably another reason for this. When pups have too much energy and not enough stimulation, this can cause them to bark excessively. (I like to think of it as them “screaming” for attention)
  • Escaping. If every time you open the front door, your dog tries to make a run for it… it’s probably a sign they need to run more!

So you’ve noticed your dog exhibiting some of these behaviors. What can you do about it?

The most important part is do NOT get mad at them. Having destructive behaviors due to over boredom and lack of stimulation (both physical and mental) is NOT their fault. 


I can’t stress the importance of this one enough, your dogs NEED daily physical exercise. Yes, every breed is different, but all dogs need to keep moving. For most dogs, going outside to go potty is simply not enough.  

Some tips to increase their physical exercise:

  • Change up their walks. If all your dog is getting everyday is a 30 minute walk, at least make it different everyday. Take different routes, go at different times, and mix it up for them.
  • Find somewhere they can run. Yes, long walks are nice. But there is nothing better for a dog than getting to RUN to their heart’s desire. 
  • Find something they will chase. If your dog is not one to go out and just run around, find something they will run after. Tennis balls, rope toys, frisbees, and sticks are all great options. 
  • Get a dog walker or send them with a dog hiking company. Sometimes you work too much and simply don’t have the time to get them the exercise they need. In this case, we HIGHLY encourage you to find someone you trust to walk or hike with your dog while you are busy! 


What many dog parents don’t realize is that mental stimulation is equally as important as physical exercise. Your dog needs to be working their brain daily as well! 

  • Snuffle Mats. These have become increasingly popular, for very good reasons. They are mats that you put treats in and it encourages your pup to practice their foraging skills. They nose through the fabric, finding the treats! 
  • Puzzle Toys. There are many puzzle toys out there that require your dog to lift flaps, move levers, and really get their mind and nose working! Here are some of our favorites: Outward Hound Puzzle Toy, DR CATCH Puzzle Toy, and Aluckmao Puzzle Toy.
  • DIY Puzzle Games. There are also plenty of things you can find around the house to create your own little puzzle mind games. Rover-Time had some really creative ideas at: Six DIY Food Puzzles with Stuff around the House – Rover-Time
  • Meal Time Games. They also make interactive meal toys such as slow feeder bowls and food release puzzle toys. Outward Slow Feeder Bowl and Holihoos Interactive Puzzle Food Bowl are two different kinds that work really well!
    • FROZEN KONGS. I cannot rave about these enough! There are plenty of ideas you can find online, but peanut butter and plain yogurt are both easy ones to put in. Giving your dog a frozen KONG will keep them busy and happy!
  • Play interactive games with them.
    • Hide and Seek. You can do this with you hiding and calling for them, or you can hide treats around the house and have them go find them. 
    • Tug of War. Find a rope they love and get to tugging! This exercise not only stimulates them, but also helps strengthen the bond with your pup. 


This is not only important for puppies, but just as important for older dogs. Bring them anywhere you can! Have them socialize with dogs at a dog park, set up playdates for them, or have them socialize with humans by going to a brewery or walking through Home Depot with you. 


You can bring your dog to a trainer, which is always highly recommended if there are ANY behavioral concerns, but there is a lot of training you can do at home with them! 

Basic tricks like sit, lay down, roll over, and shake are all fun commands to teach your pup.

You can also get creative with this! My dog was a VERY energetic puppy, so she learned a lot of useless tricks. (Like balancing treats on her nose and army crawling across the room) 

Hopefully you found some useful tips and tricks to help with your dog’s boredom! 

Remember: It is NOT their fault. And it is up to us, as caring dog parents, to find ways to help them. If you do think your dog has a different underlying issue causing destructive behaviors, such as separation anxiety, we highly recommend you find a dog trainer or behaviorist to work with! 

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to subscribe for more fun and useful content!

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All Hike Doggies must meet the following requirements to ensure all our doggies remain safe and have an awesome hike:

  • Be neutered or spayed
  • Be well socialized around other doggies
  • Be non-aggressive or reactive towards; dogs, people, wildlife & other trail users (runners, bikes, etc)
  • Be well mannered while hiking on a leash
  • Be relaxed & calm during the ride to & from the trailhead in their Zen Den (comfortable individual travel space) aboard our Hike Doggie buses
  • Be current on their vaccines (Rabies, Canine Influenza, Distemper, Bordetella, Leptospirosis)
  • Be at least 6 months old or 4 months old if leash trained

If your doggie does not meet these requirements, we recommend neutering/spaying (if you are not planning on breeding your cutie) & do targeted training in any area where he/she may need some help so they can enjoy an enriched lifestyle full of outdoor fun with friends!