Should Dogs Be Allowed To Window Watch?
Window watching is always an expectation for dogs that it's good for them to look out of the window. We feel it's a privilege to allow our pups to look out the window, even when they are barking at the window or terrorizing the neighborhood.
I wish it were this way, but unfortunately, it gives our dogs a chance to reinforce the bad behavior of becoming more protective. Your dog sees an intruder (people, dogs, squirrels) or the ever-so-long arch-enemy, the mailman. Your dog then continues to bark, and the trigger goes away (ex. Mailman on a delivery route.) Dog's do not realize that the mailman would leave anyway and has other deliveries. Then your dog stops barking or comes to get you to show you that they did a great job. The dog goes back to their couch and sits on the protection tower. They grin in honor of protection and how they saved the house from an intruder.
If dogs don't have a job, they will create one. No, it is never doing dishes or folding laundry. It is constantly barking, new bad habits that can feed into the protection cycle. The more the dog window watches or hours spent in the backyard on "protection" duty causes the annoying behavior to strengthen.
I know I've heard it all, but you love the sun, or have plants, or think window film isn't going to work. Blah blah blah Guess what? I'll wait here for an apology as long as it takes if you have more than one dog, which most people and especially after COVID do. You can not let your dogs look out the window and bark at people, dogs, and mail carriers. The more they do this behavior, the worse things get. Each dog has their past life, triggers, and behaviors, and when you let them feed off each other, it's double the headache and barking.
Dogs need the house to be an "off-duty" zone to decompress their triggers and stress to recover fully. If they don't fully unwind, the dog will be alert all hours of the day, and their anxiety increases, due to lack of sleep. A dog that is always on guard is unlikely to get a restful night's sleep. Dogs need at least 12-14 hours of sleep. Like humans, if we aren't getting enough sleep and tossing all night.
Having window film or shutters is a dog-proof way to help your dog decompress and prevent the protection and anxiety from continuing. Your dog's job should be training, enrichment, appropriate canine activities that reinforce bad habits.
Book a free phone consult to discuss your and your dog's sanity. Preferably before your dog's barking drives you completely mad.
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