We are all currently faced with unprecedented times as all around the world, countries face lockdown due to covid-19. It’s a worrying time and our days and routines have literally changed overnight, hopefully, you may be able to work from home but unfortunately, lots of us are faced with a lot of downtime and, if your anything like me, eating a lot of chocolate!

I have had to temporarily close my photography studio so yesterday, as I sat eating yet more chocolate, I glanced over to my girls who were equally excited about my bar of chocolate. Obviously being dogs they are not allowed to taste a sweet silky bar of chocolate so I felt a little sorry for them and I began to wonder how bored they must be? Only being able to go out once a day, no regular postman to bark at? I decided to do a little research to see how I could help Ruby and Caira during their lockdown. I thought I would share this with you in case your dog is feeling a little bit bored.

Some signs to look out for which may indicate that your dog is bored are: 

  • Destructive behaviour (e.g. chewing on furniture) 
  • Digging  
  • Tail-chasing 
  • Demand barking at you ( Ruby must be bored a lot)
  • Biting 
  • Whining 
  • Fighting with other dogs 
  • Pacing 

Nobody wants a restless bored dog! Keeping your dog busy means they will be both happier and more well-behaved. To help you and your dog have some fun at home, I’ve put together some ideas of things you can do together. 

1) NOSE GAMES – hiding treats around your house is a fun way to get your dog thinking. This game of hide and seek can be played anywhere, and only needs some of your dog’s favourite treats to do. 

2) OBEDIENCE TRAINING – use your time indoors to be proactive. Basic command training teaches your dog reliable recall and works on their impulse control. You can find easy-to-follow guides online, one I’d recommend is Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution on Youtube. Just ten minutes a day on obedience training is a great way to keep your dog happy. You could also include some clicker training in your daily routine. 

3SHAPING GAMES – this training means you are building a certain behaviour in your dog by using a series of small steps to achieve it. Studies have found that by using positive training techniques such as shaping help a dog learn to make better decisions in the future. Check out Dr. Sophia Yin’s excellent video demonstrating free shaping. 

4) BOREDOM BUSTERS –  these toys are a great way to release your dog’s pent-up energy. The most common boredom busters are Kong toys – these are both durable and fun try placing dog meat inside the kong and freezing the kong, your dog will have hours of fun trying to lick the meat out! But, you can easily make your own toys from common household items. For example, you  could try braiding old t-shirts or knot a towel to make a toss-able toy or a t-shirt-wrapped water bottle. It’s the perfect toy for a pup that likes crinkley sounds.

I think being able to have some fun with your dog will not only help your dogs well-being but it will also help yours too. spending time with any pet has enormous benefits for your mental well being too.

If making homemade boredom busters is not your thing, then just being silly with your dog or having a cuddle on the sofa could be just what you both need to get you through this trying time. If you have any interesting ideas for boredom busters for your dog please share them on my facebook page. I’d love to see them!

Stay safe and well xx