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You arrive home after a long day of work and park the car, but before you’ve even got to the front door you can see your canine friend leaping up at your clean windows. You don’t want to feel angry because he is simply excited to see you, but you’re also fed up of cleaning your windows every few days! Not to mention the flashes through your mind of him breaking your window and seriously injuring himself. That’s a hefty vet bill that you don’t need to have to have on your plate right now.
Getting a handle on this behavior will protect your clean windows from grubby footprints and damage. If this is a habit he has had a while, it’s time to kick it, for your sanity, your bank balance, and for the well being of your home!
On the upside, training this type of behavior out of him is relatively straightforward, particularly if he is a puppy. Puppies respond quickly to training when they are young and with just a few days, this new habit could be history. If he is older, you may need to be prepared to invest weeks into training before your windows remain indefinitely clean.
Training will consist of obedience commands to incentivize him to stay clear of the windows. You may also need to utilize a number of deterrents to discourage him in the first place.
If you want to reduce the risk of glass-related injuries, getting this training right is extremely important. Broken windows will not only pose a risk to your dog, but also to other pets and any children in the house. So investing some time and effort into these training methods will definitely be worth it.
Before your campaign begins you will need to get your hands on several things. First and foremost, food and treats will be needed to reward your dog and hammer home the obedience training. A quiet space, free from the distractions of noisy children will also be required.
You will need step stools for one of the methods, plus window film, a citronella spray collar and squirty water bottles for another. You will also need 10-15 minutes a day for the next few weeks until training is complete.
Once you’ve collected all of the above, just bring a positive attitude, some patience and you’re ready to get to work!
The ‘Off’ Method
Get some treats together and take him to his favorite window. You are going to train dog him the ‘off’ command so he understands the window is not for jumping at.
Hold a dog treat to the window or place it on the windowsill. Simply stand back and wait for your mischievous dog to jump up to try and get it.
When he does jump, say ‘no, off’. While you do this, use a treat to lure him back down to the floor. It may seem confusing at the moment but that’s because he’s still working out what behavior he needs to perform to get his paws on the treat.
As soon as all of his paws are back on the floor, give him a treat and say "good, off". Then repeat this process for 10-15 minutes each day until he understands that ‘off’ means all paws have to be on the floor. He will quickly associate ‘off’ with coming away from the window.
Lose the treats
Reduce the frequency of treats until all you need to say is the verbal command ‘off’ to get him away from the windows. He will soon learn from this daily practice that good behavior around the windows means being firmly on the ground. Eventually his window jumping habit will cease altogether!
The Step Stool Method
Buy some step stools
Invest in a number of step stools and place them underneath his favorite windows. Many dogs jump up simply because they’re nosy and want to see who’s coming. These stools will act as a neat alternative to the windows, while still giving him the view he’s after.
Bring him over
Take a treat and lure him over to the stool. Use the treat to lead his front paws up onto the stool. You may need to physically help him by moving his paws onto the stool to start with.
As soon as he’s up, reward him with a treat and praise him quickly. It is important he gets the treat within 3 seconds so he associates standing on the stool with the reward. Practice this for 10-15 minutes each day. He will soon realize if he jumps on the windows he gets nothing, but if he goes on the step he gets a treat and praise from his owner.
Practice with a friend
Have someone stand outside and walk past. Once you are confident he is comfortable with the stool, have someone walk past the window to check he now instinctively heads for the stool to get a good view. If he does use the stool, give him a treat and praise him.
Cut down on treats
As he gets more comfortable with the stool, slowly reduce the frequency of treats. Once your dog is into the habit of using the stool, you will no longer need to treat and praise him every time. You will have successfully replaced his window habit with a simple and affordable step stool.
The No Means No Method
Place a squirty water bottle near all of his window hot spots. Now go back to your normal routine but keep a keen eye on him and be ready to act if you see him heading towards a window.
Spray the water bottle at him as soon as he jumps up at the window. It may take several times for him to jump back down, but he will soon depart from the windows as he learns to associate that behavior with an unpleasant spray to the face. It may seem cruel, but the water is harmless and it's simply about associating the windows with a negative consequence.
Consider a remote control citronella collar. These collars can be bought online and at local pet stores and are extremely effective at discouraging him from bad behavior, such as clambering on your windows. As soon as you see him on the window, press the button and an unpleasant spray of citronella will hit him and he’ll quickly get the message.
Invest in some window film
Lots of dogs jump up at the windows because they want to see and bark at anyone going past. Window film can be bought from a range of online stores. It’s cheap, easy to fit and it totally prevents him from seeing out of the window, removing any temptation to jump!
Be patient and give each measure a lengthy trial period. Give each of the above methods at least several days before you give up and move on. He will often need a couple of days to break the habit, even with the deterrent, so be patient!
By James Barra
Published: 11/05/2017, edited: 01/08/2021