Reactive out the window

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wileycoyote
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Reactive out the window

Post by wileycoyote » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:42 pm

Hello, I'm new here and this is my first post.

In January, I adopted my first dog. He's a 1 year old boxer pitbull mix who is VERY energetic. I make sure he gets plenty of exercise and he's pretty calm when he's tired. However, he's really reactive out the front window regardless.

I live in a typical subdivision with kids playing outside, people walking dogs, squirrels, etc. Anytime someone walks by, drives close to the house, delivers a package, or whatever, he starts growling, jumping, and barking. His hair gets raised on his back and he won't respond to me. The only cue he will respond to is "Go to your crate". He'll go in, I'll give him a treat and close the door, and he calms down. He only ever reacts out the window and never to anyone in person. I had a trainer suggest covering the window but he barks when he just hears something. (i.e. dog on the tv)

My question is, should I keep doing what I'm doing or is there something else I should try? I've done my best to socialize him. He goes to daycare and the dog park. I take him on walks everyday. I'm not sure what else to do to calm him.

JudyN
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by JudyN » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:34 am

When you ask him to go to his crate, is this in a happy voice which he responds to happily, or a stern command, where he sort of slinks in giving the impression that he'd much rather not?

Does he go in the crate happily at other times? i.e. does he see it as a safe refuge or a punishment?

And what would happen if you gave him a treat and left the crate door open? Would he come out straight away, or as soon as he heard another sound? Would he happily stay in if you asked him to stay?
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

wileycoyote
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Reactive out the window

Post by wileycoyote » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:15 am

When he’s reacting to someone outside I tell him in a stern voice. He goes in reluctantly I think but I believe that he feels safe in his crate.

Occasionally he’ll go in by himself to nap if he’s really tired or waiting to go upstairs for bed. He’ll lay there with the door open. Sometimes I send him to his crate and I won’t close the door. I’ll tell him to settle and as soon as he’s calm I tell him “ok” to release him.

I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t seen as a punishment but instead a place to settle down. It’s the only thing I’ve found that works to calm him when he’s barking out the window.

JudyN
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by JudyN » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:55 am

OK, I would work on making the crate command a 'happy' one - work on it when he's not distracted, give him treats and/or maybe a chew/stuffed Kong, and make sure it's as inviting as possible. Then hopefully when he reacts to the noises, you'll be able to get him to go there using a 'happy' voice and eventually, he'll start thinking 'Noise outside = yippee, go in crate and good stuff happens'.

I'm not an expert though, so others may have suggestions too :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

wileycoyote
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by wileycoyote » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:59 am

Thanks, I’ll give that a shot!

DianeLDL
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by DianeLDL » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:37 pm

Yes, JudyN, is right on.

You want him to feel that his crate is a safe and wonderful hide out for him.

It reminds me about a TV ad I saw today for a bedtent for kids. This way, they have the head of the bed under this tent with different starry skies that with a night light, gives children a sense of security and a fun place to be alone. Even has a reading lamp. I wish they had those when my son was young.

It’s a similar idea of me of having a safe, happy place that is special just for your dog where he will think oh boy, scary is outside but I’m here in my crate and feeling safe with yummy stuff.

And! I have noticed that our dog definitely picks up on tone of voice. It’s most likely their acute hearing. Even if OH and I start talking loudly, Sandy’s ears go back, and we can see it upsets him. But, we can’t even hold hands in front of him or he gets jealous. :roll:

It might still help to cover the window. It might muffle the sounds a bit especially with cloth curtain. If the sounds seem more distant, it might help.

As to dogs, cats, horses, cows, ducks, birds, any animal on TV, Sandy reacts. And, it’s also seeing not only the sound since even if we turn the sound off, he will react. And, we have had Sandy for 7 years now. And, dogs show up in any TV commercial, too, even selling a car or medication for people. And, even On Demand has commercials. Now, what I’ve started doing, it holding Sandy on my lap. When the ads start, I’m holding him at the collar, if a dog comes on and he notices, I hold him to keep him from jumping at the TV, and then I carry him to the kitchen and get out his high value chicken treat while praising him. But, if I don’t have him and he runs to the TV, I go and scoop him up, and no chicken, no treat. Maybe one day he will get it.

But, we did teach Sandy (long legged deer chihuahua) to bark and let us know if anyone is approaching the house. We call him our “early warning system” and hope solicitors will think twice before ringing the bell.

Sadly, it backfired a bit, in that He now knows the sound of the UPS and FedEx trucks. So, even if they aren’t stopping at our door, he still goes bezerk. All we have to do is open the door (we have a screen door that he can see out without running outside) lik you do, and when he sees that no one is at our house, he calms down on his own. And, right now before the holidays, of course there ar going to be lots of delivery trucks. We will just have to deal with it. :lol:

Glad you found us. And, let us know how it is going. And, of course, any other questions, please feel free to ask. Also, if you find something that works and others have questions, please let us know what you have discovered. You may help someone else.

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

jacksdad
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by jacksdad » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:42 pm

I would encourage covering the windows. there are many ways that this can be done so that you don't feel like you are living in the dark. one way is to get window film (see here for examples https://www.homedepot.com/b/Window-Trea ... 5yc1vZarc3) that allows light in, but makes it next to impossible to see clearly through. you wouldn't have to cover the whole window, just enough so that your dog can't see out. The other option is to get blinds that raise from the bottom so that you can completely block visual ability out the window, but then you only "close" them half way letting in light. breaking the visual stimulation is going to be a key part to solving this.

next, change what the noises mean. To best explain how to do this, I do need to know a bit more about the noise.

Do you know what the noise are that will most likely set him off? people talking as they go by? cars? kids playing? is it specific or just any noise?

wileycoyote
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Reactive out the window

Post by wileycoyote » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:29 pm

Sometimes I don’t even know what he heard. A lot of the time I’ll look out the window and I don’t see anything. Most of the times he reacts the worst though is when he sees or hears a dog.

Shalista
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by Shalista » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:35 am

speaking as someone with a dog that reacts badly to noise... it might be more that he hears something then sees something.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

jacksdad
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Re: Reactive out the window

Post by jacksdad » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:56 pm

wileycoyote wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:29 pm
Sometimes I don’t even know what he heard. A lot of the time I’ll look out the window and I don’t see anything. Most of the times he reacts the worst though is when he sees or hears a dog.
keep in mind that dogs have significantly more sensitive hearing than we do, so it is possible your dog could be reacting to a noise made by something that isn't within human hearing range or even the visual range afforded by the window you are looking out at the moment your dog barks.

do you think the barking is fear based? whatever your dog hears is found to be worrisome or scary? or do you think it might be boredom or excitement?

what we do next depends on is the barking fear based or boredom or excitement based.

wileycoyote
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Reactive out the window

Post by wileycoyote » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:21 pm

Sometimes it looks territorial but most of the time it looks like excitement. He starts running around the house crying and then going back to the window like he’s trying to get to whatever he sees. He will do that in the backyard if he sees squirrels. I’ve tried to distract him with REALLY good treats or training/playing and he still has a hard time tearing himself away. Crating him is the only way he’s able to calm himself.

Shalista
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Reactive out the window

Post by Shalista » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:08 pm

I do have *A* solution that recently saved my sanity with my dog but id recommend trying what these guys have to say first :wink:
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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