6 Ways to Cheer Up Your Dog

Due to boredom, dogs can get discouraged when they go through drastic changes in their routines.
6 Ways to Cheer Up Your Dog

Last update: 15 November, 2018

There are many reasons why dogs can be in a bad mood or get discouraged– boredom, moving to a new home, missing a family member, etc. Fortunately, there are ways to solve this problem. Follow these tips to cheer up your dog.

1. To cheer up your dog, help them with their routines

When a dog faces a new situation in life that they don’t understand that well, they can get sad. Maybe they moved into a new home, lost a dog friend, or are just reciently adopted and are overwhelmed with their new environment.

Dogs love routines. For example, knowing when they’re going to eat, when they’re going to go out, and what time they can sleep helps them cope with changes. Therefore, set up a clear routine and follow it for a long period of time. In a few days, the dog will understand what’s expected of him, and they’ll begin to adapt to their new environment.

2. Don’t scold or punish them

Punishments are unpleasant for those who receive them, but also for those who give them. A restrained dog or one that’s often corrected won’t be happy. On the other hand, if you start praising your dog when they do something right, they’ll learn faster. That’s an easy way to cheer your dog up.

  • Anticipate what might cause bad behavior and prevent it from happening. Does your dog get into the trash when they’re home alone? The best way to prevent these problems is moving the trash bin or closing the kitchen door.
  • Don’t give them any more orders than necessary. Get rid of all unnecessary commands. The fewer orders your dog receives, the less they’ll have to obey. In addition, their stress levels will slightly decrease and their behavior will improve.
Cheer up your dog so they don't look like this sad French Bulldog
  • Ignore bad behavior and reward the good. Reverse their training! Praise them when they don’t pull on the leash, when they get off the couch without being told, when a visitor comes and they don’t bark, etc. Rewards are much more stimulating than punishment, and will help them m be happy. 

3. Visit new places that they can explore

Even though routines are an important part of a dog’s life, an occasional pleasant surprise can help cheer up your dog. Visit a new park, dedicate an afternoon to go for a hike in the mountains. , etc.

Of course, you need to make sure that the surprises are pleasing for your dog and they don’t cause them any stress. Don’t take them to a marketplace where there are lots of people or very noisy places. Choose a quiet place where he can see and smell new things, and let him explore. That time to relax will do him good.

4. Let them play with dog friends

If your dog has friends, let them cheer him up. Dogs do understand each other better than we think. Also, if a dog already knows your dog, they will know what your dog needs and wants.

In order to cheer up your dog, let the other dogs take the initiative. Maybe they’ll want to run, or they’ll choose another toy, or just enjoy each other’s company for a while. They’ll decide what games to play and how long to play them.

5. Teach them new things

One of the most satisfying things for a dog is knowing that they’re behaving well. Pleasing their owners is one of their instincts. One sure way to please you is to learn new commands and games. Each time they obey, they’ll get praised and rewarded, and that will make them feel a bit better.

Dogs hiding underneath a blanket

If your dog isn’t accustomed to learning new commands, start with the easiest ones: sit, lie down, and get up. If they already have those skills, them try something more complicated like shake, spin, and fetch.

6. Give them more rewards

There are many things that your dog does well throughout the day that you might take for granted. Reward them for those things, so they get some small, pleasant surprises. It’s a very easy way to cheer up your dog. Give them treats, or pet them, to reinforce the fact that they are behaving well.

Try to give them the healthiest treats you can. Commercial treats aren’t usually healthy when they are given in large quantities. Try to vary them — sausages, slices of hotdog, pitless fruits. You have many options on hand in your fridge. 

Cheering up a sad dog shouldn’t be complicated. If none of these tips work, and you don’t know why your dog is sad, it’s best to ask your veterinarian because your dog might be sick or have some physical imbalance.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Hernández, P. (2012). Experiencia en el uso de trazodona en casos de ansiedad por separación en perros. AVEPA, Boletín de Etología, 10, 9-11
  • García-Morato Fernández-Baíllo, C. (2019) Respuestas comportamentales y fisiológicas de estrés en el perro y el gato. (Trabajo doctoral, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.