How To Stop Your Dog's Obsession With The Window And Anything That Moves Outside
If your dog is sitting at the window, barking wildly at anything that moves outside then you've come to the right place for advice. Not only does your dog's barking cause stress between you and your neighbors, but it also means that anyone coming up the path to your house will be greeted with a barrage of barking - not the best welcome if you ask me.
The reason why dogs bark through the window is because since they are pack animals, they are naturally "programmed" to protect their pack or group. Since he's living with you and your family, you guys become your dog's pack and so he feels compelled to "protect" the territory the pack has (AKA your house).
He does this in the only way he knows how - by barking and generally making a noise at anything which comes into the pack's territory in an attempt either to alert you about them or to scare them off. This type of behavior is pretty common in domestic dogs and because of this, there is a pretty straight forward remedy.
Because your dog is trying to protect your family from what could be anything outside, then it's vitally important that you show him that he doesn't need to do it. Depending on the breed of dog and his past, the most likely explanation for his excessive barking through the window is because he has assumed the natural "leader" status in your pack.
Since he feels that it's his job to protect you all whilst you provide him with a home, food and leisure time, we need to get it into his mind that he really doesn't need to. We need to make it crystal clear that the pack is totally safe and sound and that barking through the window is bad.
To do this, all you need to do is make sure that he knows you don't want him to bark. This is all down to the effective communication that I feel is the core of dog training and so to ensure your success, I am going to guide you through exactly how to do it:
Firstly, you need to "catch him in the act" (I.E barking out the window at something). If you want to do this systematically, then you should get some of your neighbors to walk up your pathway to entice him to bark. Anyway, once you find him barking all you need to do is "tell" him that it's bad. To do this, you need to either shout firmly (not angrily) saying "NO" or "SHHH" until he stops barking (it might take some time but he will get it in the end) or you could rattle a tin of coins to make a loud noise. Dog's don't like loud noises because they have sensitive hearing and so making a noise will deter him from barking.
Once he's stopped barking (and is probably focused on you), then you should get down to his level and hug and pet him. Doing this for 10 seconds will show him that him stopping barking is something you want him to do. After about 10 seconds or so, give him a treat to make sure he knows he did good.
Now all you need to do, when he's calmed down, is to leave him be and when he starts barking out the window again (it normally takes a few attempts to teach him), then just repeat the process. This works by correcting, not punishing, him for what he's doing wrong and then positively reinforcing the good. This trains him to do things out of wanting to please you, over out of fear and anxiety of what might happen if he does something bad.
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