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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19375
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My dog is a 6 year old lab/German shepherd mix. She gets an

Customer Question

My dog is a 6 year old lab/German shepherd mix. She gets an hour walk every morning and a 10 minute walk in the evenings. She loves looking out the window at home. We have a beautiful view, but she goes crazy when she sees another dog walk by or a turkey in the yard. She barks, scratches the window frame and we have to close the blinds to get her attention back. How can we leave the blinds open and have a quiet happy dog?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

German Shepherds and Labs are both working dogs and while their exercise levels are not exceptionally high, they do need to be mentally stimulated. The morning walk is good, but only 10 minutes in the evening is pretty small. I'd recommend making the evening walk at least an hour as well. In addition you need to add some activities to keep her physically active as well as mentally stimulated.

Obedience training is a great way of accomplishing this. It doesn't need to be a formal class but does need to be formal training meaning the same time approximately each day and practice the same command over and over and not just give a few commands during the day. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

Use a formal training class to help formalize training. It will also serve to socialize your girl as well. It will help her be less aggressive and excited when she sees other dogs. In addition, you will meet people with other dogs and might arrange some play dates for your girl so she can play with other dogs. This may not help stop any excitement but if aggression is behind the behavior, it may lessen the destruction.

Obedience training will help you be able to control her better and you can have her sit and stay until you give a command to release her or when she goes near the window you can call her to you. I do recommend using high value treats like hot dog slivers or chic***** *****vers. Dogs like to work hard for those. You can also teach her to not go near the windows all together. Keep a long lead on her and if she goes within a couple of feet of the window, give a short tug to get her attention on you and a firm low toned (growl like) NO. After a few corrections, you should see her hesitate before going near the window. Reward that behavior with the high value treat. You will practice this over and over again throughout the day. It won't be long before she stops going near the window. When that happens, you will need a helper to bring their dog past the window so you can practice her staying away from the window with a distraction. Since she already knows what you want, this step goes quicker and as she stops going to the window for dogs, she will likely do the same for turkeys as well. It is a long process and will likely take a few months to get her trained but it is effective.

Now there is another method which may work well if you are just taking about a couple of windows at the front of the house. You can use an indoor fence system to keep her from the windows where she has the problem. The system works by having a transmitter near the area where you do not want her in. When she gets inside the transmitters range which is usually predefined, the collar delivers a correction in the form of either a mild shock or a citronella spray. This keeps the dog away from the area that the transmitter is in and you can avoid destruction that way. Many owners use indoor fence systems to keep dogs out of specific rooms such as kitchens or children's rooms. You can see some on the following pages.

http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/dog/dog-containment/electronic-dog-containment/petsafe-pawz-away-indoor-pet-barrier-and-collar

http://www.bargainpetstuff.com/indoor_dog_containment.htm

These collars can help keep her away from the area while you are training which can help train her quicker.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

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