Dogs are like us in many ways. They feel many of the same emotions. Enjoy being social and active. And they thrive with routine, variety, and purpose.
Just as we get bored and stir crazy spending too much time at home, our dogs feel the same. The difference is in how they cope with this boredom and extra energy.
A bored dog is a destructive dog. Chewing on furniture. Or shoes. Tearing up baseboards, doors, floors. Getting into the trash.
Curbing those behaviors requires finding outlets for their energy and engaging activities to stave off boredom. It's more than just getting them bones to chew or new toys to play with. Dogs want to be INVOLVED in your life. They want to have something to DO.
While obedience training helps ensure your dog understands basic commands and builds your bond with your dog, its hard to be obedient and well-behaved when you're home alone and don't know what to do with yourself.
For this, its important your dog has adequate stimulation. That means exercise, play, and a JOB. That's right. A job.
A dog with a job is a happy dog.
But what kind of job? Many dogs are working dogs, bred for specific tasks that help their working partners. Sled dogs, herding dogs, guard dogs, search and rescue dogs, etc. But every dog has a drive and desire to have tasks they perform to help their owners and handlers. Its what makes their bond with us so strong. They have an immense desire to work, and to please us with that work.
If your dog is just a pet, not a farm dog herding sheep or a hunting dog treeing coons, they can still have a job around your house!
This is where training above and beyond the basic obedience skills comes into play. You can teach your dog to:
Help carry in your groceries.
Hold a bucket for weeds while you're gardening.
Alert you to strangers at the door.
Keep watch over your children as they play in your yard.
Pick up dropped items off the floor.
Retrieve your shoes.
Your imagination is the limit! What kind of tasks would you love to see YOUR dog help you with around your house?