Can Dogs Feel Boredom?

As a human being, chances are you have been bored a time or two. It’s common to experience boredom when you feel your mind isn’t being challenged or stimulated in some way. Or, it can be experienced when you are in the midst of a repetitive, monotonous task for several hours at a time. Perhaps you have been bored while waiting at an airport or train station when there is nothing to do but sit and wait for your transportation to arrive. Although human boredom is quite common, it has made people wonder if other animals like dogs are also capable of feeling bored from time to time.

There is a recent essay that was published in Animal Behavior that was written by Charlotte C. Burn, who is a biologist at The Royal Veterinary College of the University of London on the topic of animal boredom. She established that boredom is defined in the following way:

NPR//Facebook

“Boredom is an unpleasant emotion including suboptimal arousal levels and a thwarted motivation to experience almost anything different or more arousing than the behaviors and sensations currently possible. It arises when we perceive that there is ‘nothing to do’ or are ‘tired of doing the same thing’, and is accompanied by a sense of time dragging.”

She found that boredom is not unique to humans, as both pigs and companion dogs that are left alone for long periods of time have the same experience. While dogs can’t articulate this feeling, their behavior is the key to understanding their emotions. Dogs tend to seek out ways to “cure” their boredom by seeking stimulation through activity or can even act out in destructive ways to challenge their bodies and minds. This is all the more reason to seek out ways to prevent boredom in dogs by giving them attention, food puzzles, and other toys that keep them feeling challenged.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Woman Escapes Wildfire with Dog in Her Bag

    In the state of California, wildfires have taken a devastating toll on the landscape and all those who lived in its path. For one woman named Natasha Wallace, there were just minutes to escape the wildfire. In quickly gathering her most precious belongings, there was one thing that mattered to her most: her dog. [caption...

    Read More
  • Groomer Helps Lucky Dog in Middle of the Night

    For a dog named Lucky, things did not begin so well. No one is quite sure how it happened, but by perhaps a stroke of good luck, Lucky was stranded on a busy road in Florida at night. He was in rough shape to say the least, with his...

    Read More
  • Puppy Gets Unique Casts to Help Him Heal

    At just seven weeks old, a little puppy named Evan had already experienced a very rough start in his short life. He was living in a very large shelter in Texas and was taken in by the organization Rescue Dogs Rock NYC. The organization had learned Evan had a...

    Read More
  • Pair of Shelter Dogs is Inseparable

    For many dogs, the animal shelter can be a very scary place. It’s a loud environment full of dogs and cats that have found themselves in a precarious situation for one reason or another. This foreign environment can cause even the happiest or friendliest of dogs to shut down because it has been such a...

    Read More
  • Dog with “Unique” Face Looking for a Home

    As you might imagine, living life on the streets can be difficult. This is the case for a sweet dog named Sid who was recently discovered with years of suffering and pain across her face. Despite all that the dog has been through, she still smiles and is full of love. She was picked up...

    Read More
  • Medal of Courage Given to Military Dogs

    Each year, hundreds of military dogs are deployed overseas to assist members of the United States military. These highly trained dogs are placed in harm’s way each and every day in order to protect the brave women and men who are involved in combat. To pay tribute and honor to these dogs, the American Humane...

    Read More
  • Deaf Dog Rescued After Life on a Chain

    For animal lover and rescue volunteer Holly Dean, hearing that there were several dogs being kept on chains presented an opportunity to act. The dogs in question were in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives. The dog’s owners had agreed to allow the dogs to go to a rescue...

    Read More