Many common dog behaviour issues around the home can, in part, be attributed to a lack of adequate stimulation. A dog’s physical and mental energy levels, need to be managed.

I am talking about behaviour like destruction; digging, chewing and destroying things, being overly excited; jumping up, not listening, being unruly and even nipping or biting. Even in cases of aggression or anxiety, I would still look at whether or not the dog’s energy needs are being met as part of the overall plan to address the behaviour.

If you are experiencing problem behaviours around the home, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Is your dog getting sufficient exercise for their age, breed and energy level?

Is your dog is bored? Especially when you are not around.

Could your dog be frustrated?

Is your dog alone for large parts of the day and only has short periods of activity?

Not all cases of unwanted behaviour can be resolved by managing your dogs energy, but it is a good place to start.

I think every dog needs some kind of energy management plan. For some dogs, this may be as simple as a 30 minute walk in the morning, a food toy when you leave the house and a game of fetch when you get home. For other dogs, the energy management plan will be more extensive.

Consider things like how you feed your dog, how long and often you walk the dog and ways to add environmental enrichment or mental challenge to your daily activities.

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