movement sensor alarms

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movement sensor alarms

Post by [email protected] » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:46 am

We have a lovely dog that has a problem with certain people passing by the house windows. He runs up to the window barking and if we're not quick enough (or not in the room) he jumps onto the window ledge. I really would like to get him out of this habit and have trained him to a certain degree but it hasn't totally gone away. I saw the movement sensor alarms on the last 'Its me or the dog' series and thought they would be a good idea for him to understand that he shouldn't jump on the window ledge. Does anyone know where I can buy one at all?


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Post by emmabeth » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:44 am


Ive moved your topic to this forum as i think it warrants discussion on methods.

The method you are suggesting is sound aversion, and it does have its place.

That said, its also quite likely to have bad side effects and so shouldnt be used without full consideration of these and of course of other possible methods.

I do understand exactly how frustrating this problem is as ive had this here with my dogs. I live on a fairly busy street and my dogs became obsessed with barking at people, in particular one chap whose dog theyd fallen out with in the past. Sadly for me and them, this dog was walked past up to 6 times a day, off the lead at a fast run and was also preceded by his owner whistling so my dogs ALWAYS knew when they could get up on the sill and bark their heads off at him.

Ultimately, barking at something going past the window is a self rewarding behaviour. The dog barks and the person 'goes away', dog thinks 'wow, that works well!' and so repeats the behaviour. Some dogs also find barking and jumping about very enjoyable.

So, you could use the sensors to make the experience of jumping on the window sill unpleasant. If the dog associates the sound with the action of jumping up on the sill, and stops, then thats fine.

However, if the dog is focussed strongly on the PEOPLE hes barking at, which in all likelyhood is whats happening, he may well associate the aversive with them, not where he is or what he is doing.

Instead of making the connection 'jumping up = bad' he might make the connection 'people outside = bad'.

Thats a potentially disastrous thing to happen. If that happens, he may become extremely fearful of people, to the point where he either runs away, or decides that as barking wasnt sufficient to make them go away, biting might work.

He may just be so stimulated by his game though that he plain doesnt notice, or becomes immune to the aversive, and heres where the problem with aversives lies - once a dog is immune to a fairly mild aversive, what do you do? Use a stronger one, step up to a scaryier sound or a spray collar, or..... an electric collar?

If your dog ISNT able to practice this behaviour when you are out - ie he is confined to another room where he cant jump up on that particular windowsill, then your best and most positive method would be to replace the behaviour with something else.

The current behaviour is VERY rewarding, this means you cant just say 'no' to him. He needs to do something, this particular thing for him is very very stimulating, saying 'no' will be ignored because what ELSE can he do?

What you could do, is make sure you have a pocket full of VERY nice treats, or a couple of his most favourite toys. When hes about tojump up, (try to get this in BEFORE he jumps, this may mean at first sitting about without any music on, not doing very much so you can perhaps hear people coming before he sees them and reacts), distract him and offer him a treat or a toy in return for performing some other behaviour, ie sit, down, etc.

Reward him really well and carry on distracting wtih a game or a mini training session. I suspect a game may go down better but it does depend on the dog.

Really concentrate in the first week or so, of NOT letting him get on that sill, and not allowing him access to that room unless you are there ready to distract him and reward him for not getting up there.

If he is the type of dog who mistakenly believes he was born a china horse and sits about up there all day, make that a pointless behaviour for now. Use a curtain or blind so that he CANT see out of the window, and then reward him for not being up there but for being in his bed or wherever is pleasant for him and convenient for you.

In this way, you prevent the behaviour from occurring, and you give him a reward for choosing to do something else, you make the windowsill a boring place to be, and his bed a rewarding place to be.

The eventual outcome of this should be, if you put in the work, that he isnt interested in the sill, long after the curtain is gone, and that he comes to find you, for a game or training instead of jumping up to bark at people.

With my dogs i found the best way of preventing this behaviour occurring was to permanently prevent them from seeing out of it. Because i have four dogs, it wasnt just annoying having two of them go absolutely mental out of it six times a day, it was dangerous.

I used frosted window film, so i stil have plenty of light coming in, but it obscures the dogs vision and they no longer bark. Because they cant see out of it, they also no longer sit up there either and i can now put things on my windowsill :)

Its not a solution for everyone, some people like the view out of their front windows, but for me its fine because my 'view' its just some flats and a shop and a community centre. I guess if you have a stunning view out there this may not be the method for you.

Hope this helps


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Post by Spursdon » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:54 am

Hi, i came on to website to see where i could buy a sensor, but i see from the previous post you dont always recommend them i was just wondering what you would do for a boxer who puts her paws on the kitchen worktops and eats what ever is on them, including food, paper, cardboard etc, this only happens when we go out and we always put any food etc at back of worktops but today she reached right to back and got stuff down, we dont leave food uncovered out cos the smell would probably make it worse but today for instance she ate a whole box of mince pies which were still sealed in there box and celophane wrappers!! not good i know but please help Em, thanks


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Post by emmabeth » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:13 pm

Quite simple. either remove all food from the kitchen and put it away, or, prevent access to the kitchen.

Ive a pair of dogs here, one can reach right to the back of the work top, one who is perfectly happy to jump ON the work top. So no food can be left lying around.

Whilst sound aversion can work, a/ its not the best, most positive method and b/ if you leave something truly fantastic up there, who's to know until it happens, if the dog will ignore the aversive to get the food.

Stealing food is a behaviour that comes naturally to dogs, to them it ISNT stealing, to them, food is there for whoever wants it, and if you want it, you take it.

If you leave food just lying about clearly you DONT want it and so its free for others.

Leaving food lying around therefore is quite unfair on a dog and the best way to prevent accidents is to teach yourself and your family, to tidy it all away.

Dont forget, human food can kill dogs.

Thats not to say i wouldnt use an aversive if needs be, but id probably reserve that for the die hard theif who is stealing things from behind the owners back when they are IN the room, the dog who waits for an opportunity to steal.

Your dog i dont think is doing this, hes doing it when you are out, which suggests its a coping strategy for being alone. Fix THAT and you may find he isnt interested in counter surfing any more.


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Post by Nic25 » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:04 pm

We have taught out dogs to stay out of the kitchen but one of our dogs (hunterway) is quiet and sneaky. We had left a bowl of cooked chicken to cool at the back of the bench and when i came in to cover it up and put it in the fridge i couldn't find it!! She had done it so quietly and neatly that the "empty clean bowl" sitting on the bench was empty but not clean (unless a doggie tounge wash counts). I honestly thought my partner must have put the chicken away as the bench appeared untouched! Of course as soon as i saw Sable she promptly hurled herself at my feet in apology so i figured out where the chicken went *giggle*. After that everything goes in the (cold) microwave or oven to cool and then straight away.
Owner of two big (30kg each) puppies and one wee cat :)

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