We've all been there – that familiar frustration of a dog barking relentlessly at the window. Whether it's the sight of a squirrel scurrying by or a glimpse of the mailman approaching, dogs have a natural instinct to alert us to potential intruders or interesting happenings outside.
However, this instinct can sometimes spiral into excessive barking, causing distress to both you and your pup. Even if you mastered how to stop a puppy barking when you first got your dog, there can always be certain triggers that set them off in adulthood.
Fret not, for there is hope to stop this behavior and restore the serenity of your living space. Dog behavior specialist Gia Savocchi comes to the rescue with a simple yet effective training tip that can help you regain your sanity and bring peace to your home.
Savocchi is no novice in the world of dog behavior. With a notable educational background, including studying MSc Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh, and being a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), her insights to canine behaviors, like barking, come backed up by years of education and practice.
Feel free to watch her discuss the issue of window barking in an Instagram video below before reading on…
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Savocchi's advice encompasses both preventive measures and training techniques. For those who seek immediate respite from window barking, she recommends restricting access to windows and doors, thereby reducing the visual and audio elements that trigger the behavior.
"We can put window film on the window so they can’t see out. Don’t let them out on the patio. Don’t leave your front door open so they can bark through a screen or a storm door. Don’t leave them loose in your yard to run the fence line," she advises.
Savocchio notes in her video that this first piece of advice is if you can’t train your dog or manage it, "You’re going to want to just not allow the behavior," she says.
However, we know just how time consuming dog training can be, especially if you're the owner of a reactive dog. Noises and sounds from outside can be one of the main causes for reactivity in dogs for some.
That being said if you have the time to spend on training, Savocchi's second approach involves positive reinforcement. Armed with a handful of the best dog treats, or some meat or cheeses as she prefers to use, you are going to seize the opportunity to redirect your dog's focus when they approach the window with alertness.
"Anytime your dog goes to that window and starts to get alert, go up, hand them a treat, give them another treat, and call them away and then reward them," she adds, "If your dog can't move away from the window, you can put a leash on them to gently guide them away and then reward them when they move away."
By consistently rewarding their disengagement from the window, you're laying the groundwork for a quieter, more peaceful environment.
Hopefully, with either of Savocchi's methods, you can bid farewell to the days of incessant window barking, and experience a quieter home.
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With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.