A dog in the wild spends most of its standing/walking time, foraging for food. These wild dogs are not bored, they are not displaying pent up energy behaviors like the Zoomies, they are not bugging their owners for attention, they are not barking incessantly, they are not whining, they are not licking themselves to death, and that is because they are stimulated, busy foraging for food.
So, when you take a dog out of the wild and you put a bowl of food in front of them, they eat it in a few bites and that’s it! They don’t have to work for it, they don’t forage for it, they don’t earn it in any way. When I say this to clients most people will say “Yeah but, I do have them work for it. I have them wait for me to put the bowl down” Well, that isn’t working in any sense. When your dog doesn’t work, forage, earn their food they are not being stimulated. They eat and then they have all this free time to get into “trouble”. When dogs are bored they chew, they bark, they play, they fight, they dissect things, they do things that most humans will be upset at.
You can recreate foraging by taking some food and hiding small bits in a small square that would be 12 - 24 inches long and 12-24 inches wide and letting your dog forage for those pieces of treats/food. After your dog gets good at finding those treats pretty quickly, make the square bigger.
1st square-Week 1 2nd square-Week 2 3rd Square-Week3
12x12 24x24 6 feet x 6 feet