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Discussion Starter #1
My 8 & 1/2 month Golden jumps and paws at the window at squirrels, bunnies, etc and has broken the same window twice in the last week. He hasn't been hurt, but I need help in keeping him from jumping at the window. I tried keeping the curtains drawn and that worked for a couple of days, but isn't working any more. I can gate the room (and move his crate) but I am thinking he'll just repeat the behavior in a different room. Any tips? I'm afraid he'll get hurt and really don't want to hit the window repair place weekly!
 

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Dog Lover
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Oh, My

Oh, My

He is obviously out of the crate when he does this?
I was going to say move the crate away from the windows, but that probably wouldn't help.
 

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Cover that window with aluminium foil for a few weeks. While it isn't the most attractive look, it will be safer. Our Ben broke a window, cut the tendons on the back of his leg and had surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think that for now we are just going to have to gate off that room. We have one other room with low windows and I think we'll just have to keep the curtains closed and back the crate against one of them to block it off. We'll have to barracade the other window with something as well. We are really lucky that he wasn't hurt.
BajaOaklahoma, sorry to hear your Ben was hurt so badly. Did he continue to jump at windows? I'm wondering if there's hope that eventually Rocket will stop after we get through this teen stage. I know-- I have more than a year at the least.
 

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My friend's Doberman did the same thing. She ended up putting balloons on the window and when her dog pawed at it the next time, the balloons popped and really scared her. She put the balloons back a few times after that but her dog never did it again, even when there weren't any balloons up.
 

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My first thought was how much exercise is your dog getting? Around the 8 month mark, goldens (most dogs, actually) tend to need more exercise than previously needed. What worked for him when he was 5-6 months probably isn't anywhere near what he needs now. The good news is that the energy spike should level off in the next few months.

In the meantime, I would work on WHY he's jumping at the windows and treat it accordingly instead of just managing it - i.e. foil, drapes, etc. In addition to two long walks a day, work on basic training so he's using his mind. Mental stimulation works wonders for tiring out a dog. Spend an hour a day training by doing 6 10 min sessions. Spend at least 2 hours a day walking/exercising. I like loose leash walking on grass for young dogs. They learn proper walking skills and having to pay attention to their handler makes them use their brain, too. As opposed to an extended leash or letting a dog pull on a short leash.

If you're already walking for 2 hours a day, I'd try some vigorous off leash exercise and/or doing one walk in a busy area so he gets lots of mental stimulation. Walking a dog in a quiet neighbourhood isn't nearly as tiring for them as it is if you walk them past trendy neighbourhoods, next to busy roads (make sure dog is secure in collar and leash) and so forth. I like to add in extra activities on walks like having my dog jump over bus benches, walk along fences, jump up onto boulders and stay, etc. He also has a backpack he wears for more physical/mental stimulation.

When I dog sit my brother's high energy dog we go for an hour walk in the morning with backpack. We go by schools with kids which is out of the dog's comfort level and mildly stressful for him. We stop at the grocery store and do a mini obedience session in the parking lot where there's lots of distractions. He jumps every bus bench on the way back home. In the afternoon, we head off to an off leash park. It takes 15 min to get there, then we spend 45 min walking around the perimeter and he gets to sniff, pee, and play with any dog around, then 15 min walk home. Before bed, we go out for one last 20 min walk around the block and then he chews on a bone for 30 minutes when he gets home. It's a lot of work but without it, he paces all the time and wakes up at 5am!

There's also mental stimulation you can use besides training. Feed meals in a kibble dispensing toy like a kong wobbler or a-maze-ball. Stuff a regular kong with kibble, peanut butter, pumpkin, etc. and then freeze it for a day and give it to him to keep him occupied. Work on training so he knows to stay away from the windows. I don't let my dog stare out the front door or else he starts running out when the door is opened.

And the reason I suggest physical and mental exercise in addition to managing the situation and training, is that MOST of the dogs I know with the issue of breaking the glass or pawing at it are dogs that rarely leave the house. There's 3 on my block: a shepherd, a husky, and a husky cross. These dogs never get walked and they've come so close to breaking the windows of their houses that Ranger and I no longer walk that way. The area we lived before had two huskies who routinely went through the glass. To the point where they had to ALWAYS have a mattress against the window. The owner said he'd never walked the dogs in the 3 years he'd owned them! I'm not saying that's what's happening in your situation, but it does make me think that maybe some extra exercise during this period would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much for all of the advice. We do get him out for walks and play but are understanding the need for adding more vigorous exercise. I like the idea of more mental stimulation as well. We haven't replaced the puppy kong that he destroyed, and I think it's time to get the bigger Kong and to start filling it more regularly. I appreciate all of the time you've all spent with your responses.
 

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I agree with Ranger about more exercise. Until my now 4 year old was 2 years old, he went to a wonderful doggy daycare from 7am to 5pm and still required a 2 mile walk most evenings during the week. On weekends we had a private obedience lesson for 1 hour which made him more tired than all the exercise. On weekends we probably walk walked 4-6 miles during a given day or had some good off leash play with playgroups at the house.

Mental stimulation is way more than a Kong - maybe I am not reading your response correctly. Doing more advanced Obedience, teaching tricks etc is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, no worries, I do understand about the obedience training for mental stimulation-- I was just replying quickly and thinking of the Kong since we never replaced the puppy one after he destroyed it!
 

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I think I am understanding your dog's thing is that he is trying to get at the squirrels and bunnies outside. My dog also fancies himself a mighty squirrel hunter! (he hasn't even come close).
However, I use it as a way to get him exercise (or to go outside when he doesn't want to, but I want him to because I want him to pee before I have to leave for work or something, I just say "Where's the squirrel?" and he is very eager to go outside).
Anyway, first he should know some words (squirrel) and some commands (Wait, OK, Find it, No, Leave it). What I do is ask Brooks "Where's the squirrel", then we go to the door, I tell him to " "Wait" while I open the door and then I give him the command "Find the squirrel" or just say "OK" so he can run out the door.
If I don't want him to go outside, I just tell him "No squirrel" or "Leave it" and he knows he doesn't get to chase a squirrel today.
Unless you want to discourage his prey drive, or you are afraid your dog could actually catch a squirrel or bunny, this way you are teaching him appropriate behavior.
 
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