You come home from a long day at work, to find your dog has chewed the windowsill. They’ve made a huge mess. Why did they do it? What can you do to keep it from happening again?
Why is my dog destroying the window sill?
First, it’s important to understand your dog isn’t trying to cause trouble. They are simply being a dog. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t correct the behavior, but you should be understanding. Your pooch is simply dealing with an issue the best way they can.
Boredom is one of the most common reasons for dogs to be destructive. In this way, they are like young children. If they don’t have something to entertain themselves, they will find something. Often, it’s something you don’t want them to do.
If your pooch is chewing the windowsill out of boredom, they are likely engaging in other destructive behaviors as well. They may chew or destroy other items around the house.
Other signs your dog is bored include digging, excessive licking, pacing, excessive barking, panting, and frequent scratching.
Separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs. If your pooch has separation anxiety, they will get very distressed when you leave the house.
They may chew on the windowsill or other items around the house because they are highly upset. They may also chew on the windowsill because they see you through the window.
You may notice that your dog wants a lot of attention or stays close to you at all times. You may notice that they begin to get upset when you are preparing to leave the house. They may even avoid being outside unless you are nearby.
Other signs of separation anxiety include housetraining accidents when you are not home, and excessive whining or barking, particularly when left alone.
Trying to Get to Something Outside the Window
If something outside of the window catches your pooch’s eye, they may chew the windowsill in an attempt to get to the person or animal they see.
Your pooch may become frustrated or over excited by what they see, causing them to chew the windowsill.
If your pooch has a strong predatory instinct, this may be why they chew the windowsill.
Your pooch may chew on the windowsill in an attempt to get your attention. If this is the case, it may be a habit you’ve developed with them.
If they chew on something and you pay attention to them, this can cause them to chew on things more often. This is because the behavior leads to something they want.
This is called positive reinforcement, and it’s how dog training works. Of course, you aren’t trying to encourage them to chew on things, but it can happen inadvertently.
If your dog is only chewing on the windowsill, or windows and doors, they may be attempting to protect their territory.
Dogs naturally have a desire to protect their territory. In the wild, this is essential. They must defend their home and their food to survive.
Your dog doesn’t need to fight for its food or protect it’s home in this way, but the instinct remains. Some dogs have a stronger territorial instinct than others.
If your pooch is chewing the windowsill out of territorial aggression, you’ll notice the behavior happens when a person, dog, or other animal is nearby.
They may also growl or bark when they see something through the window.
Desire to Chew
Your dog may be chewing on the windowsill simply because they want something to chew on. If they don’t have chew toys, they will find whatever is enjoyable for them to chew.
This is particularly true if your dog is teething. They will chew on items like your window sill because it’s hard but soft enough to chew.
How to get my dog to stop destroying the window sill?
There are ways to get your dog to stop chewing on your windowsill. To do this, you’ll need to take a dual approach. Make the windowsill unappealing, and address the underlying issue.
Bitter spray is an excellent way to curb your dog’s desire to chew on the windowsill. When you spray it on the windowsill, or anything else, it makes it taste bad.
When your pooch tries to chew on it, they will not like the taste. This should deter them from chewing on it. It can take a few attempts before they decide to stop trying to chew on the windowsill, but it will happen.
You will need to reapply the spray frequently. If they find the spray has faded, they will chew the windowsill, and you will be back to square one.
Indoor fence is another option. This goes in areas where you don’t want your dog. Place it by the wall to keep them away from the windowsill. It can also be used to keep your pooch out of a certain room in your home.
This is a good solution if there’s one window or area your dog is chewing. However, it’s not practical if they are chewing on windows all over the house.
If you suspect that boredom is the motivation for your dog’s chewing, you’ll need to give them more physical and mental exercise. You probably know that dogs require physical exercise.
However, they also need mental stimulation. Both are required to keep your pooch from getting bored.
Walks, a game of fetch, or even hide and seek are a great way to provide them with exercise. Games, teaching them new commands, and puzzle toys can provide mental stimulation.
When you aren’t at home, your pooch is more likely to be bored. One way to keep them entertained is to turn on the TV. Shows that feature dogs or other animals dogs view as prey can give them something to do while you are away.
Separation anxiety is tough to deal with. If they have mild separation anxiety, you may need to make a few changes.
Give your pooch a treat right before you leave. Keep leaving and coming home calm and low key. If you make a big deal of it, your dog will too.
Leave some clothes that you’ve worn recently in one of your dog’s favorite places. Perhaps you place your old socks in their bed, or leave your t-shirt on the couch.
The key is to be sure that the item has been worn, so it has your smell on it. This will help keep your pooch calm while you are gone.
Lastly, be sure they have plenty of toys and entertainment while you are gone.
If separation anxiety is more severe, which chewing the windowsill indicates, you’ll need help. An animal behavioralist is the best option. You can also speak with your vet about what to do. They may even prescribe medication for your pooch’s anxiety.
Chew toys can also help keep your dog from chewing on your windowsills. If they don’t have appropriate chew toys, they will chew on other things.
What type of chew toy is best depends on the preferences of you and your dog. Firm rubber toys are one option. Tennis balls, stuffed toys, and rope toys are also options.
Chew bones and rawhide chews are also options that dogs love.