Training to Prevent Boredom in Pets

Mental stimulation is at least as important as physical exercise for developing a well-rounded dog that is a pleasure to live with.

Just as you might be tired after a few hours of challenging math problems or learning to drive with manual transmission, your dog will be mentally tired from learning new behaviors or games with you. Mentally tired dogs would rather rest than get into mischief.

Training sessions don’t need to be long. In fact, short sessions are better for learning. You can add in mini sessions any time you are with your dog. In a single day you could:

  • Spend two minutes teaching your dog to wait at the door;
  • Teach him to bring the ball back to you during your play session;
  • Have him wait for his dinner;
  • Teach go find it in the house with a toy or food;
  • Spend four minutes practicing polite greeting;
  • Practice polite leash walking for two four-minute sessions during your walk;
  • Work on the mat exercise while you cook dinner; and,
  • Teach hand targeting during a few ads while you watch TV.

These activities would add up to nearly an hour of training just during your daily routine with your dog.

Training can be fun for you and your dog. And, having a handful of behaviors on cue can make all the difference between having an unruly dog that makes you angry and one that is really a joy to have around. Training can even be done when you are out on your walk. In the included photo the dogs were practicing ‘stay’ while I took their picture!

In our next post, we’ll discuss using Feeding for Enrichment to provide entertainment and activity for your dog.

How have you employed training to make sure your dog doesn’t get bored?