While canine behaviorists may still be working on unlocking all the secrets about how dogs communicate, boredom is one emotion your German Shepherd is probably pretty clear about. Most dogs have some pretty easy-to-read signs when it comes to letting you know they are bored. Here are 5 signs your German Shepherd is bored and how to bust that boredom!
#1 – Destructive Behavior
Is your German Shepherd chewing on shoes, the couch, etc.? If he is not teething, he may be bored. Too much energy and not enough outlets equals a nice chew fest.
#2 – Demand Barking
Does your German Shepherd bark at you incessantly? Guess what? He IS trying to tell you something. Mainly, “I am bored, play with me!” Don’t give in to it, however, that will just reinforce the barking. Instead, wait for him to be quiet and then find him something better to do.
#3 – Inappropriate Herding
Aside from chewing, your bored Shepherd may decide the younger members of the family should be herded around the room. Or maybe the cats would like to be rounded-up. Your Shepherd may even follow you, biting at your ankles or nudging you in the small of your knee with his nose. This obsessive herding can be a sign your GSD needs a job!
#4 – Tail Chasing
Though there are other reasons your German Shepherd may do this obsessive behavior, including medical issues, pent-up energy can be one of them. If your Shepherd is doing this, take him to the vet. If he is healthy, it’s time to find him a job.
#5 – Pacing
Since German Shepherds are a tending breed, they may display this behavior when anxious. But they may also pace when bored. If your Shepherd is not showing any other signs of stress, he is probably bored. Sometimes, this behavior is followed by “zoomies” where your German Shepherd runs full speed through your house. Clearly time for some exercise!
Video: GoPro on a German Shepherd left home alone
How To Bust Your German Shepherd Dog’s Boredom
Luckily, there are many ways to keep your GSD from getting bored and displaying these unpleasant behaviors. Exercise is a great choice, but you will still need to give his brain something to do. Training not only wears them out mentally, but also physically, effectively curbing that boredom. Puzzle toys are another way to keep your German Shepherd occupied. If they crave doggy play time, try a doggy day care. In short, anything that provides mental and physical stimulation will help your German Shepherd not be bored.