7 Dog Activities for Bored Dogs

What happens when you bring home an animal that’s been bred for thousands of years to hunt, herd, guar, etc. among other things and let it lazy around every day?

A bored dog with a lot of pent-up energy with nowhere to direct it.

And you wonder why she insists on ripping your shoes apart, whine all night and chew on your carpet. Dogs have been bred to have an incredible work ethic and to help nip those problematic behaviors in the bud, here are great dog activities for bored dogs.

As great as your once in a while dog walks and occasional Frisbee tosses are for her physical well-being, she also needs mental stimulation. Your canine companion isn’t just a meat suit that does what it’s told; there’s some brain along with brawn that needs to be nurtured as well.

Dog activities for bored dogs were designed to engage and challenge your canine’s melon and keep them from getting into trouble.

Since we don’t have specific roles for our furry besties other than being a great companion and we give them everything they need, you can bet they have a lot of downtimes.

And believe me, you won’t like how she decides to spend her downtime starting with wreaking havoc at home.

Without further ado, here are favorite dog activities of bored dogs:

Frozen Treats

Our first pick is a fun and nifty little trick designed to teach your dog to be patient and keep her hydrated throughout the day, especially on those hot summers.

Take a bowl, fill it with your dog’s favorite treats, try arranging it like a pyramid, and leave in the freezer to solidify.

A full night should do the trick and once it’s frozen over, leave it out in the open for your dog to enjoy. The treats will be slowly revealed as the ice melts over, and she will have to constantly keep coming back to check when she can have her favorite treats.

If she’s a smart one, she’ll figure out that licking it may speed the process along. It’s a great way to keep her mind engage, especially when you’re at work and make sure she stays hydrated.

Find the Treats

One way of draining your dog’s mental and physical energy is to have her play a game that involves using her nose. Find the treats is a great nose work game and is designed to engage all of her senses and engage her brain as she looks for her favorite treats.

Here’s how it works; start by having your dog sit and while she was watching you, toss a treat or two or her favorite toy and simultaneously ask her to “find the treat.”

Obviously, she’s seen where the treats land and will immediately gobble them up.

That’s fine; the idea is to get to know and understand the game. After a few repetitions, she’ll have understood the rules of the game, and you can level it up by hiding her tasty treats in different rooms, or even somewhere it’s scent will be completely masked.

It’s a great way of saying goodbye to your dog when you’re leaving if she gets separation anxiety. And a lot cheaper than getting her drug therapy, a dog walker or independence training to try and eliminate her behavioral issues.

Adrienne Faricelli’s brain training for dogs has great force-free techniques for ending your dog’s behavioral problems.

She condenses her decade of experience as a certified dog training into a clear step-by-step system designed to put an end to your dog’s unruly behavior.

Hit The Road

Every dog needs a daily dose of physical training, and while your walks and game of fetch are great ways of getting her exercise in, they only work to exhaust physically.

She also needs mental stimulation, and hitting the road is a great way of giving her both.

We’re not talking about your typical dog walks where you blissfully walk around the block as she gets to explore. When we say hit the road, we mean biking or running, take your pick—you should be working out either way, why not take your dog with you on your next run?

Unlike your typical dog walks, running, or biking with your canine companion keeps her mind fully engaged as she has to focus and pay attention to keep up with you.

It’s a great way of keeping her in top shape and significantly reduce her risk of developing health conditions.

Dogs, much like people, suffer from the same health problems that we do if we don’t get enough exercise in. They are susceptible to a variety of conditions from depression to obesity to difficulty managing body heat to back problems to heart diseases, just to mention a few.

Obese dogs are especially at risk of developing worse off condition, and it’s been shown that boredom and obesity are like a ball and chain.

So to help keep your canine companion mentally and physically stimulated take her out on your next run or biking adventure.

Obedience Training

Another great way of engaging your furry besties’ mind is to teach some basic or advanced obedience training techniques. Teaching your dog any command challenges and engages her brain as she learns to understand and associate the command with the behavior.

Dog experts recommend scheduling five-minute training session throughout the day for a maximum of three times.

If you’ve got no clue about where to start with obedience training, check out Doggy Dan’s online dog trainer program designed for the inexperienced dog trainer.

Doggy Dan does a great job of taking you through the basics of alpha training in live video consultations with clients as helps them get to the root of their dog’s behavioral problems.

He practically shows you how to teach your dog to sit, stay, heel, and other advanced obedience training techniques. I found Project Moses to be invaluable while I was training my puppy; Project Moses is a chronology of Moses and Doggy Dan from when he was adopted at 8-weeks to when he was a year old.

Change up your walks

It’s great that you routinely take your canine companion out for walks but taking her around the same block day in day out gets old and not just for her but you as well.

Trying changing up your walks instead of using the same route over and over.

It’s time you explored new neighborhoods and maybe even ramp up the pace of your dog walks. Take that shortcut across the forest, par, or even stroll around the shore of your local lake or swamp.

The goal is to add variety and engage all your dog’s senses while feeding her primal need for adventure and curiosity. Do this a several times, and you’ll soon find her getting even more excited for your dog walks.

Get a second dog or pet

Everyone loves a partner in crime and so does your furry canine companion and getting a second dog is a great way to kill her boredom, especially when you’re away at work.

While getting a second puppy is nothing to be scoffed at—more responsibility, it can be a life-changing experience for your fur baby, giving them a lifelong partner. If you decide to get another dog, here are a few things that you might want to consider.

You want to get a dog that’s closer to the age of your dog and can match her energy spirits so they can quickly hit it off.

However, you also want to make sure you take your time introducing your new dog to the family as well as thoroughly training them before leaving them for extended periods with your first dog.

Most dog shelters—should you decide to get a rescue, or kennels allow you to bring your dog so you can choose a suitable companion.

You want to look at how your potential second pet interacts with your current do, so you don’t bring home the missing ingredient to utter chaos.

On the other hand, you could opt to get a different kind of pet altogether, a cat, for instance. Raising a feline and canine in the same household is a great way of spicing things up at home.

If you’ve ever loved Fred Quimby’s Tom and Jerry animation series, then getting a feline to complement your canine companion is a great way to turn up the heat.

It’s also a great way of testing your diplomacy skills as you reconcile these two mortal foes.

The Shell Game

Our last great dog activity for bored dogs is the popular shell game. The shell game is a nifty little game designed to engage, challenge, and test your dog’s problem-solving skills.

It involves using three identical cups or containers and hiding a treat underneath one of them while your dog watches.

You then shuffle them around as she’s watching and ask her to guess where the treat is; if she gets it right, she gets the treat and vice versa.

All the above dog activities for bored dogs were designed to kill the boredom in your dog’s day to day activities, keep them healthy, and allow you both the chance to spend some quality time bonding.