It happened - a broken window

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jeshykai's picture
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So, Steve has this bad habit of launching himself at the door and windows in the backyard when he's throwing a fit about being outside and wanting inside.  I've been dealing with it in the only way I could think of -- I don't respond to the antics, I wait until he's seated (he does know that is how he gets in, the minute he has our "attention" he sits down like an angel) and now that he's 75 pounds and more dog than puppy, I'm in a bind.

Our sun room is more of a hallway from the kitchen to the garage and it is all windows.  When Steve is in the room now, he's set to launching himself at the larger windows, clawing to get in.  A no, get down, is enough but it isn't breaking him of it at all. 

This weekend Eli and his brother stopped home to get some supplies and put Steve out for a potty right before they were leaving.  They of course came back in and finished packing up the truck.  When they came back inside Steve's launching antics had broken one of our 12 x 12 single pane windows.  Needless to say, I'm upset about the damage (I just spent all month repainting and redoing this room!) but now we're worried about what's going to break next.  And whether or not next time Steve will get hurt in the process!

We can't leave him in the room now for fear he'll launch himself through one of the large windows.  But this removes a space we have always set aside as dog area when they're inside and we don't want them in the house.

Long winded, I know -- but any creative suggestions on how to work with him on this?  In my opinion, when I respond to him with a negative, he's getting his positive -- seeing me.  

Livelaughlove1's picture
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OMGosh Steve is being al DoberDevil for sure.. Have you considered a doggie door?

Is he crated at all? Im sorry I dont have alot of suggestions, Im jus glad Steve didnt hurt himself in the process of breaking the window.

Lady Kate's picture
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Gosh Jess, I'm sorry DobeZilla gets so antsy when he's not velcroed to your hip. Aside from Double paned glass and double up your Homeowners' Insurance, or perhaps ( hate this...)One of those invisible fences that people put on their property to keep dogs in, I simply have no thoughts as to how to control this.. You're right, he could get terribly hurt.

I'm thinking one of our more experienced trainers here on the forum will chime in..

jeshykai's picture
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Oh he is crated!! I would never trust him in just the room or outside for long periods of time.  These antics happen when he's tired of peeing outside and wants back in but we don't come fast enough for him.  And really, he shouldn't be telling me when he wants in, I should tell him when he can come back in.

You're right Kate it is the velcro dog behavior.  I had been considering one of those e collars to buzz him when he's doing wrong, but I don't know.  I figured I'd pick people's brains.

Lady Kate's picture
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I"m sure there's a solution..let's keep watching this post..SO many good people with good ideas here.. I just love it

I want to put a 'doggie door' in the new house ( IF we ever move into the new house.. the building budget is so anemic right now..we're going to have to wait a couple of months before we start up again.. ) Sofia has made her own door out of the screen when she spied a cat one day.. When she's outside she wants in, when she's inside, she wants out.. and she will paw at the glass slider. If we don't jump when she asks, she'll slump herself down on the ground with a mighty grunt, sigh as if it's her last breath and tuck her nose between her paws, cutting her eyes back and forth to us.Poor Pitiful Pearl! Locked out of the house in the brutal 70 degree weather

Happydance's picture
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LOL@Kate:  I got a doll once when I was very young who's name was Poor Pitiful Pearl. You can imagine what that doll looked like. That was the exact day I stopped playing with dolls!

Fancy too has made herself a doggie door through the screen.  It worked really well because she too was in/out all day long.  I've had to shut the slider now because of Mystic so it's been a drag.  She does paw at it now.

Jes, I had the same thought about a collar like you mentioned.  I'd be reluctant to use it too, but I'm worried about how dangerous that is for him to be doing, and certainly not to be getting in a habit of it.  I've never used one and I really don't know how I feel about them, but this is a dire matter of Steve's safety, you already know that.  Good luck and keep us posted.

jeshykai's picture
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It's one of those things where I'm stuck, you know?  I open the door to reprimand him, I'm rewarding him.  I yell at him through the window, he's got me there.  He sits the minute he sees me.  He knows he can't come in until he sits so he will sit but its hit or miss if he'll come up to the door and sit patiently while he waits for us.

A dog door might be the best option but it just irks me that he'll have won to have access in and out when he wants.

I don't want to own a dog that is a demanding creature that gets his way because I can't have him launching himself through a window.  Double-panes are on every window but these and of course we're in no position to get new windows.  I currently have ducktape and cardboard up in this window!

My problem child.....!

sweetpea's picture
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Oh no!  Your poor window!  Those are not cheap to replace either, that sucks!

Hmm that is a dilemma with Steve...I don't know if this is a good idea or not but I wonder if there's a way to give him an alternative way to let you know he wants back in?  Like getting him to ring a bell or something...that doesn't really solve him being demanding but it could save your other windows!  I would probably try something crazy like hiding in the bushes and squirting him with water when he jumps up at the door haha...and it would most likely be a huge fail.  :P

Paisley's picture
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Is there any way you can redirect the behavior? A bell or something that you can train him to use to notify you that he's ready to come back in? This way he has a safe outlet and you don't have to deal with the feeling of a shock collar. If you used targeting, it shouldn't take long for him to learn to ring the bell. And perhaps you could use a partner, or your husband to help you. First train him to ring the bell (maybe get an electronic one that buzzes inside your house?) and make the reward him getting to come inside. And to show him that the reward comes from the INSIDE, not out, you can use your husband to open the door from the inside. This teaches him that if he rings the bell, someone comes and lets him in... eventually you could taper off you being outside and see if he can put two and two together. Just a creative idea. And one that may save your windows and a vet bill! =D


ETA: Then again, you can always submit and get a dog door...lol.

jeshykai's picture
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Haha sweatpea.. I have no where to hide and I'm sure he'd find me!

Paisley that is a wonderful idea.  I had known people to use the bells to communicate they want out but hadn't thought about coming back in.  I will bring it up to Eli and see what we can do.  Steve is very good at targeting and I don't think it'd take him long to clue in on that.

Thank you!!  Of course I'd rather find the positive reinforcement over a shock.. it was just one of those hands up in the air moments.  And when you're living in it, you don't always see it from all angles.  :)

ShibaDobie's picture
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Oh no! well at least he didnt hurt himself =(

We have an invisible fence just for Dexter (he is an amazing escape artist) through DogWatch, and we love it (and so does Dexter because he can play leash free in our yard now). They offer an indoor/outdoor sensor that keeps pets out of certain areas. Our rep for the area has two dobes at home, and she uses it to keep them off the kitchen counter. The small unit mounts on the wall, and if they pass the counter plane it will make a beep. These can be set to just beep, beep and vibrate, or beep and correct. The corrections aren't painful more just irritating/annoying to the dog (I tried every setting on my arm) and once he learns that beating on the windows gets him nothing but a correction, you can probably tone it down to just a beep.


I know most people see invisible fences as a negative thing, but our experience with ours has been great, and most of the bad things you hear about them I've come to find just arent true at all.

Maybe it would help your problem with mr wreckingball, lol

Jes, I'm glad he was not hurt. If you can get the bell thing to work that would be wonderful. Jumping on the door can be really hard to break. I would be tempted to do the Ecollar. I've used it in the past with one of my dogs for something I couldn't break we had tried everything. She quickly learned though when she had the collar on and when it was off and acted appropriately.

I do hope you will share with us what you do and how it is working. I'm working on trying to solve a simalar problem with my wild child curious george right now and feel I'm up against a wall. So please share Jes it may help others that you dont even know right now.

Paisley's picture
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Jes, I know how it feels to want to grab a shock collar to show them exactly what not to do. I feel that way every time Gunner takes off and won't come back (Tx Lacy Dog)

jeshykai's picture
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I pretty much know these dogs are smart enough to know when the collar is on it means business and when it off it means freedom! He already shows that with his prong collar.  Though I will be honest here, I'm not opposed to the e collar.  I just would rather try and troubleshoot before and use that, like rnd did, as a last effort.

Eli and I discussed the bell and he was game to try it, but I started wondering how it'd work - hearing it over music, the day to day, etc.  We live in an older home and the wiring is already iffy so I'm not about to put a doorbell in the back, haha, though it amuses me!

The problem is he is simply hit or miss on these tantrums.  I stayed home yesterday with him and just worked on things with him as I went about my day.  I put him out, made him stay out, and watched the clock.  I started at 10 minutes, then let him in (I actually had to call him he was enjoying the fresh air) - then I waited a while, put him back out, went up to 20 minutes, etc.  He did not throw himself at the door or the windows that are right next to it.  He just trotted back and sat looking in with the, "Moooommmmy....?" expression.  I rotated that with the pom who is in the very bad habit of barking to get back in.  So it was a day of training around schoolwork.

But we all know that this is probably because I was the only one home, we had no activity outside the norm, no strangers who were really exciting to be sniffed, no door knocks, no Eli (the fun one) to want to come in and hang out with.

I wonder about a dog door but I just don't like the idea of freedom to the backyard when he wants.  I like to know when he's out there and not forget him because one of our neighbor's fence is iffy, maybe 5 feet, and if he really wanted to he could hop over into her yard.  So if I know he's out there, I know to check and make sure he's still where he should be.

Blah blah blah... probably didn't need to know all that, but there it is!  If he only threw himself at the door I wouldn't be as worried about it and would keep on with the method I was trying but obviously, with one broken window, and a ton more potential for more, we got to break this ASAP.

Thanks for listening and plotting to redirect Steve with me.  I appreciate it!

Dobertime's picture
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Keep us in the loop!  I'm very curious to see how you eventually overcome this hurdle!