One of the perks of having a faithful canine companion can be a bit of a mixed blessing. It’s kind of nice knowing, for instance, that you don’t have to worry about an Axe murderer sneaking up on you. Nope. Your faithful pooch will bark to alert you (and if it’s a larger breed, possibly attempt to eat the offender). That’s the upside and it’s pretty sweet. Now, the downside is this. Sometimes your dog’s security instincts might be a little.. oh, let’s say enthusiastic. This can translate out to your dog barking at absolutely everything. Neighbor’s dog outside? Bark! Bark! Mailman? 10 minutes of barking. Mother in law? Eh, that one is a little suspicious. Despite the reasoning, you will want to curb your dogs tendency to bark at everything and focus it a bit or deter it if possible. Let’s discuss what to do if your dog barks out the window at everything!
Why is the dog barking out of the window, anyways?
This one is pure instinct, my friends. We’ve been hunting together with dogs since the dawn of time and as such, they’ve picked up an instinctual urgency to warn you when someone or something suspicious is approaching. While it can be a vexing thing if you live in a thin-walled apartment, it’s fairly natural. That said, there are some things that you can do to help to discourage this behavior.
Fair enough, so tell me how to stop my dog from barking at people outside!
When it comes to people you will want to consider this carefully. Are you sure you want to turn off your dog’s natural ‘intruder alerts’? If so and you have a lot of people walking outside of your place, the first thing that you might try is simply blocking your doggy’s view. Heavy drapes can help or solid blinds (be leery of plastic ones that dogs will simply lift) are some examples of a means to discourage the barking. This is not your only strategy, however, we have a few other ways how you can stop your dog from barking at the window.
How to stop your dog from barking out the window: Commands
Does your dog already know how to sit or to come to you? You could try keeping the barking but adding to the control factor. Try first saying ‘Good dog. Sit!’ or getting your dogs attention and saying ‘Enough!’ and supplying a treat when the dog complies. This is one way that you can keep the security goodness but also get a little peace and quiet.
How to block your dog from the window
You can also incorporate a little crate training into your dog’s regimen to keep the barking at minimal or even none. When your pooch starts barking out the window, stop your dog by announcing ‘time out!’ and then begin pulling them gently by the collar to the crate. Place them inside and leave your doggy there for 3-5 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Also, we should not, if your dog starts whining to get out we do not want to encourage this behavior. Get them to sit quietly (use the ‘sit’ command, for instance) and leave them there until they are silent. Be sure to pet them or give them a treat afterwards for being a good doggy and this strategy may do the trick for you with a little time.
Replacing the behavior
One strategy that you can employ is this: teach your dog to bark on command. This one can be a game changer if properly applied. To do this, put your dog in a situation where
” This one can be a game changer if properly applied.”
they might normally bark and when they begin say ‘Bark!’ and feed them a treat. Repeat this until your dog associates the word ‘bark’ with barking. Once you have taught them this, start practicing the ‘hush’ command. Tell them to bark and then say ‘hush!’ or ‘quiet!’ and give them a treat the first time that they go silent. With a little practice this can help to manage things quite well.
Other quick methods
There are a few other things that you can employ, such as:
- Special collars that emit a stinky smell when your dog barks
- A water gun or spray bottle that you use on your dog while saying ‘No!’
- Turning on your television to provide background noise to help mask noises outside
It really all depends on your dog. All dogs are different and they are all personality-packed characters. This is wonderful and one of the best things about them but it also means you are going to have to customize your barking solution to fit your fuzzy friend.
Practice a lot of patience
We hate to be the bearers of bad news but you should know that this process may take awhile, most especially with an older dog who is very set in their ways. You don’t have any way of knowing how long they have spent practicing this behavior and it is very possible that it may take almost as long to train them out of it. With this in mind, don’t panic if your dog is slow to respond. Consider utilizing blocking strategies that keep your doggy away from that window or that block them completely from seeing outside of it. Yes, it can be a bit trying, but if you hang in there then eventually your dog is going to realize that you do not desire them to bark at everything and then the behavior will minimize or stop completely.
Training your best friend to go against their security-minded stance can be an uphill battle but take heart, this is something that you CAN do. Just take ‘baby-steps’ and be sure to reinforce good behavior with praises and treats. Yes, your dog can be stubborn sometimes, but once they know what you want they are going to do their best to please you. You’ve just gotta be persistent and hang in there!