Why Does My Dog Like Looking Out the Window?

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If you've ever driven around with your window down and dog in the back seat, you look at them and wonder, ' why does my dog like looking out the window?'

.You've probably even noticed it looking out the window, even at home or on the front porch, looking longingly at the open world.


Dogs are naturally attuned to external stimuli as they quickly adapt to changes in their surroundings.

Since they enjoy the outside world despite being mostly huddled up inside, their curious ears can’t resist the temptation.

It is also a source of distraction, entertainment, and relaxation for your furry companion. 


Without further ado, let’s examine why your dog is obsessed with looking out the window and whether it is a cause of concern.


Why Does Your Dog Sit by the Window?


Dogs are primarily external creatures who exhibit signs of territorial behavior. Many look out the window just to be aware of their surroundings.  Let’s look at some factors in detail below.  


External Stimuli 


Just like humans, dogs are curious about their external environment.

If you notice your dog sitting in a quiet room by the window, it’s likely that they are observing their immediate surroundings, which enrich their senses. 


Looking out the window is stimulating for them as they get to watch other dogs, people, the chirping of birds, and cars moving clearly at the periphery. [source]

 

Territorial Behavior 


Some people believe that dogs looking out the window of a car or house can be a sign of aggression or frustration. On the contrary, they are naturally like other animals, creatures of prey. 

There are several theories about why dogs sit by the window; one of the most common reasons is to mark their territory and display dominance in case of intrusion. 


If you leave your dog at home alone or with someone else, it is bound to establish its territory and protect the home while the guardian is away.

Do not forget to be alert if there are sudden changes in your dog’s behavior, as this can become problematic over a period of time. In this case, you will need to train your dog out of this habit.

 

Separation Anxiety


Dogs love to be in the company of their owners and get overly attached or dependent on them.

So, if you are a dog owner who is mostly away from your canine companion, then looking out the window can be due to an overwhelming sense of separation anxiety

It can trigger certain responses–one of them is looking out the window sad to deal with the stress. 


This behavior stems from separation anxiety, so make sure that you help your dog work through their stress if they exhibit such signs. Certain dog toys and adequate sunlight can help ease their fear.

 

Environmental Enrichment 


A dog loves the outside world for the same reasons humans do. The abundance of nature, different smells, fresh air, and sunlight are all beneficial for your dog’s health.

Environmental enrichment is important for satisfying their natural physiological or psychological needs


When they look out the window, it can be a sort of coping mechanism as most dogs are captive creatures. This can arise due to their connection to the external surroundings.

 

Source of Relaxation 


As dogs can see fairly clearly for distances up to 20 feet, they can derive a lot of joy and comfort from simply watching what is happening outdoors.

This serves as a distraction, entertainment, and even relaxation for them as they get to constantly engage with their surroundings.

 

Keep in mind that excessive time by the window can adversely affect your dog and trigger other behaviors. Make sure that it is encouraged for only a specific amount of time. 


Is It Good to Encourage this Behavior?

 

Sometimes it is good to let your dog engage with the external surroundings from time to time.

It allows them to channel their energy and can help decrease stress, anxiety, boredom, or any other negative emotion.

Even when you are driving, your dog looks out the window to take in its immediate surroundings. However, windows serve as a barrier. 


This barrier can aggravate your dog if they are exposed to this behavior for a prolonged time.

Barrier frustration can make them more aggressive towards people or external stimuli. 

If your dog repeatedly barks at the outside world or act wild, it might be due to isolation and not being able to directly interact with their surroundings.

Incorporate more socializing time instead of encouraging them to look out the window.

 

How to Help Your Dog?


The most feasible way to help your dog is by letting them get adjusted to the external world directly.

When dogs constantly look out the window, as mentioned, it stems from the need to socialize, which provides them with environmental enrichment and stimulates their brain.

If they are unable to get these needs, it often results in a series of disturbing actions stemming from their pent-up frustration and loneliness. 


Some ways you can help your dog are listed below: 

  • Try to take your dog for regular walks where they can immerse themselves and even engage with the external stimuli while staying active.
  • Try to help them become sociable in general so that they become comfortable with strangers and remain calm around them. 
  • Get your dogs calming toys to help them relieve stress or anxiety when unknown people enter the house. 

If your dog is entertained and nourished physically and mentally, they will not look out the window excessively.

 

Final Thoughts 


Dogs are friendly creatures that need to be constantly engaging with their surroundings. Since they are gifted with exemplary senses, they are always trying to engage these senses with external stimuli. 


Always remember to let them explore the outside environment as it is vital for their happiness and personality.

Restraining them can lead to more violent behavior so keep in mind to employ other helpful methods to direct their energy. 


We hope that this article was an insightful read and helped you ascertain your dog’s behavioral patterns! 

And remember, "why does my dog like looking out the window?" - it's usually just because they're enjoying the view outside most of the time, so you have nothing to worry about.


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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