Boredom Busters

To help prevent your dog from developing boredom related behaviours it’s important to give them physical, mental and social enrichment opportunities.  Remember they aren’t able to browse Facebook or do the latest Sudoku puzzle to stay busy.

If not given safe and appropriate outlets for their energy your pup may instead chew the table legs, dig up your backyard, bark for attention or bounce off the walls.  

Check out the suggestions below to help you get started creating enrichment opportunities for your pup!

Food Toys and Puzzles

Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl, where it’ll take him less than a minute to eat, stuff food toys or puzzles and let him use his brain to get his meal.  

There are a lot of different food puzzles available and your dog may have a favourite so it’s good to have a variety.  Look for Tricky Treat balls, Squirrel Dude, Kong (the traditional snowman shape, or lots of others too).  Maybe you want to try a game instead – check out some by Nina Ottosson.  

Here is a short Guide to choosing and using food puzzles

It’s important when first introducing any new puzzle feeder or game, start easy to prevent frustration.

You can make your own food puzzles with items you likely have around the house already. 

Take an old muffin tin, put your dog’s kibble in the cups and put some of his balls or toys on top so he needs to move them to find his breakfast, or scatter his dinner in the lawn and let him do some nosework to find it all.

With any toys, puzzles or games be sure to supervise your dog to be sure they won’t chew/swallow any pieces


Teaching your dog to shake a paw or pick up his toys is a great way to engage his brain and his body. 
The skills you teach don’t need to be complex and even just changing the environment where you are training is beneficial.

For a more formal lesson join one of my classes, it’s great enrichment for you and your pup.  Remember, any training you do should be force free so your dog loves learning and working with you.

Puppy Parkour

Initially designed as a human activity in urban areas people would negotiate obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing on them.  Next time you’re out walking with your dog why not participate in your own puppy version – have them put their paws up on tree stumps or hop over fallen logs.  It’ll make the walk more interesting for both of you and provide some additional enrichment. 


While you’re at it make time to let your dog smell the smells on your walk.  Your dog will be much more relaxed if he’s allowed to go on a sniffari instead of a brisk walk with no stops.  Even just going to new locations for your walks is a great enrichment opportunity for your dog, there will be a lot of different smells to explore.

Jade & Jasper enjoying a winter sniffari