One of my behavioral clients, Deb, has a fantastic Great Dane, Gracie, that we see every few weeks or so here at the Ranch. We have been working with Gracie for about nine months off and on, helping her with her territoriality, anxiety issues and social integration with humans and dogs. It's gone fantastically well and in a future blog I will be sharing with you what we have done to help this sweet ex-puppy mill dog; what our approach was, and how we have achieved success with her.
What I did want to share with you today was our simple fix for Gracie, who, among her other issues, has a nasty habit of plonking herself right at the upstairs window so she can enjoy full vision of anyone daring to enter the driveway. Then she barks the place down...many times a day, working herself up into a frenzy. Mum and dad have huge windows at the front of the house and installing blinds for her to get pissed off at and smash to bits wasn't an option.
When we went to the house, we suggested straight away removing the dog bed from under the window, which is where it had been placed. Instead, it needed to be put at the back of the house, as far away from that window as possible. There's a nice back porch where nothing ever happens that she can plonk herself on whenever she likes, so she's now going to be right there.
Then, as part of a wider program of stress reduction, we suggested they cut some black paper and stick it on the bottom of the window to impede visibility completely. Regular black paper, just up as far as her head can't see over. Light still comes in perfectly well from the upper section of the window, but she can't see out, is all.
This takes all the stress out of the house as she simply can't see anything out of the front window so she's got no business being there working herself up into a frenzy every ten minutes. No bed there either, so she now has no business being there at the window.
It's boring in that spot now.
Sometimes you need a quick simple solution to take the problem away while you work on all the other stuff, and that's what this does for Gracie's mum and Dad. The hyper vigilance at the window was something that needed to stop quickly so that we could ensure an atmosphere of calm in the home while we worked on the territoriality.
A simple big black piece of paper, $5 at Publix or Ingles, is a whole lot cheaper than blinds as an interim solution. Thought you might like to try this if any of you have the same problem......