Like every day, before leaving for work, you take a last look at your dear canine companion. You love him very much. When you open the door to leave, one more look at your dog, and off you go your day begins. You will return at noon, like every day … But even with that, your dog will suffer a terrible plague. The evil of the century for our domestic dogs: loneliness. It is this scourge that drives many dogs behind SPA bars, because a bored dog is a destructive dog!
From boredom to loneliness
If for most owners, going home to find your dog is a moment of pleasure, how does the dog actually experience it? How many masters find themselves with destruction problems at home? Or problems with soiling? Problem with nuisance barking? How many dogs end up in a transport cage to avoid damage?
And yes, our dogs feel lonely and bored! They undergo this life that we impose on them!
Pets live at our pace, wake up and sleep at the same time as we do, and spend their day waiting for us. Even the dragging ball is not stimulating enough, and no game will meet all of its stimulation needs. Remember that for a dog to be well in his paws, he needs regular physical activity, but also mental activity. He must be able to use both his head and his body. I can already see masters laughing and saying “no, but mine is too stupid!”… Indeed, if you have not allowed your dog to be mentally stimulated during his life, he will be less curious, and will not seek necessarily to understand what is offered … But whose fault?
And when the master comes home, he often has things to do. Even if the dog has been out for a bit, it will not replace the bored and lonely times he has had during the day.
It is this loneliness imposed on the dog that leads to behavioral problems such as destruction, vocalizations, uncleanliness. A dog who is in separation anxiety doesn’t see it well. It should not be taken lightly.
And let’s talk about her puppies who have everything to learn from life, but who suddenly experience separation from their mother and siblings, and find themselves alone in an unknown space. Imagine what he is feeling right now. The distress he may be feeling. And when you get home, it’s finally release for a few hours.
Note: the dog is a social, curious, energetic animal. So he needs interaction throughout his day.
How do I know if my dog is really bored?
Although every dog and situation may be different, there are several clues that will prove that your dog is lacking in stimulation! Your dog can have only one of his behaviors, like several.
You have, as I told you above, the destruction. And yes, your dog is bored and to relax and find an occupation, he will use his teeth and his paws! What could be better than scratching your lino? Or to relax while chewing on the table legs? He may even have his basket destroyed? Does he throw you away? It’s so empowering for a dog to do the trash. Not only can he search, but he automatically rewards himself when he finds something to eat that he likes!
Your dog barks, howls, vocalizes! He communicates his discomfort, or then spends his time looking at what is happening outside and chasing passers-by! He’s busy as best he can! Even if for us it is embarrassing. This is ultimately a natural behavior, but one that can indeed quickly turn into a nightmare for you and the neighborhood, if the dog is still in demand for attention!
- Disobedience can also be a sign. Some types of dogs, such as primitives (Akita inu, Canaan) or Nordic (Siberian husky), get bored quickly. Their independent character and their great intelligence can become an ordeal for some unsuspecting owners! Indeed, the dog, for lack of physical and mental activity, can quickly lead them to total disobedience!
- • Depression in dogs does exist! Often underestimated or poorly known, many dogs nevertheless become depressed from lack of stimulation! Your dog will appear sad, almost lethargic, he may have a loss of appetite, changes in mood or behavior. If you have any doubts, it is best to call on a canine behaviorist trainer to help you!
- • Repetitive and compulsive behaviors. Compulsive behavior is a movement that is repeated regularly with no apparent purpose. For example, some dogs spend their time circling or chasing their tails. It is often seen in some working dogs, such as the border collie. The dog is bored and tries to fill the lack of stimulation with his own body, taking care of himself. The dog can even injure itself by injuring itself. I am thinking here of the licking sores. By dint of licking (often the paws and / or the tail), the dog injures itself and may even “dig” its paw.
- Remember: if your dog is destroying, barking, licking his paws or tail to the point of injuring himself, you should change his way of life and enrich his environment as soon as possible.
- How to help dog?
4 ways to enrich dog’s life
Whether or not your dog is having behavioral problems, you should think about how loneliness will affect your dog, especially if it is regular. So how do you do it? Can we take responsibility for owning a dog, when we know we will have to leave it alone for hours?
You can, of course, take a dog, even if you are not at home during the day! We agree, you have to work to earn a living and that of your dog! But it is our duty, as a master, to bring the most comfort to his dog, to give him something to wake up to, to enrich his environment.
There are four ways to enrich pet’s life:
• Physical exercise (such as going for a walk, a game of throwing, rope, a fight with the handler or another dog).
• Mental stimulation (tracking game, search mat, all games that make the dog think, various learning and in a positive way).
• Social enrichment (seeing humans and other animals, seeing other animals, playing with them, grooming your dog if he likes it, giving him massages or petting).
• Environmental improvement (such as several kinds of baskets, rugs, hiding places, different toys, changing places for walking or learning).
Every dog should be able to access all four types of enrichment every day. I am speaking here, for a healthy dog. We’re not going to force a dog with a broken paw to run a marathon! Nor will a traumatized or phobic dog be forced through a market! But it is important to enrich the lives of our dogs as much as possible, so that they are as happy as possible in our human world. So, to avoid boredom and loneliness, leave him different toys when you are away, give him the opportunity to use his natural dog skills, let him sniff during walks, make him meet good friends. and other humans. Make it live to the fullest!
If you can’t make it through the day, think you can get it out by someone else! Family, friends, a professional in the dog world, plenty of solutions open to you to stimulate your dog.
Note: there are many tips and solutions to help your dog live well on his own. Whether it is to call on someone to take it out, play with it, take it for a walk every day, deal with their needs and your possibilities.
Finally, I can’t tell you how long a dog needs to be alone without damaging your dog’s behavior. Every dog is different. As is every situation. Questioning the life we give them is essential. No dog is perfect, no master either. Think that your dogs haven’t chosen the life they lead! If they had a choice, they certainly wouldn’t lead her to wait for you all day without doing anything. Ask yourself the question before taking a dog! How much time can you devote to him? What will be your means to do it? What type of dog to take? And do your best to make him happy.