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Most of us probably have been in a situation when we feel the blues, and it just so happens that we’re sitting by the window, whether that’s at home or a car, and we look outside at the pouring rain or melancholy sunshine.
While this dramatic behavior might be normal for us, or Romcoms, it can be strange seeing your dog sitting by the window and watching the outside, for hours without getting bored.
So, why do some dogs spend hours looking outside the window?
Dogs can find looking outside the window entertaining since there might be people, animals, and vehicles passing by, or they simply want to go outside. Some dogs will guard their territory by looking outside the window, others might be waiting for their owner to come home from work, while some enjoy basking in the sun!
Those are just a few possibilities, so let’s take a look at 7 reasons why dogs look out windows, including your car, and whether you should worry!
Why Do Dogs Like Looking Out Of Windows?
Let’s dive deeper into the 7 most common reasons why dogs like looking out of the windows. While these are considered the main reasons, the reason a dog might stare out of a window could be a combination of these reasons or something more unique to your dog.
Observing the context and when this behavior happens could help you discover why your dog loves looking outside the window.
Reason 1: It’s Entertaining
The reason that is most likely to be the cause of a dog looking out of a window is that they find everything outside interesting and entertaining to watch.
There are a lot of things that go on outside especially if the dog spends a lot of time indoors. If you live in a busier area, having a lot of people, animals, and vehicles pass by is great entertainment for a dog compared to having nothing else moving around them.
Looking out of a window can be like watching TV for dogs since there are many things that move outside and make different noises. What goes on outside is usually not the same every day so being able to look outside at the different sights and sounds is like watching a new episode of your favorite TV show!
Take a look at this funny video of an owner questioning their dog’s decision to look out the window all day:
Reason 2: They Are Guarding Their Owner Or Territory
Some dogs look out the window and stare because they are guarding the house.
Certain dog breeds like the German Shepherd have the instinct and drive to guard their territory. Guard dogs were bred for the purpose of protecting something such as property. Some of the common guard dog breeds include the German Shepherd, the Dobermann, and the Anatolian Shepherd.
To guard dogs, any unknown person can be viewed as a possible threat to a dog that has a strong protective trait. They might keep watch by looking out the window for long periods of time in case someone shows up. As shown in many shows and films, it is not uncommon for dogs to bark at the mail person when they see them coming.
Interestingly, dogs are not only protective of their territory. They can be protective of their owners as well. Your dog might feel the need to protect you, barking not only when a stranger approaches the property but also at times when a stranger may be close to the dog’s owner.
Reason 3: They Want To Go Outside
What on the other side of a window? The outdoors, of course!
Dogs might look out of windows because they want to go outside. There are some dogs that love to be outside even when it’s raining! They might think of the yard as a place of fun and playtime where they can run around and release some energy.
The outdoors might be a place of freedom compared to being indoors for hours. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors playing and having a great time, they might want to keep spending time outside!
Dogs might also want to go outside because they need to potty. Dogs are creatures of habit and having a routine with set times for your dog to potty during the day and at night can help prevent accidents in the house.
However, there may be times when a dog might need to potty outside of their normal potty time. This is when it is important to know your dog’s behavioral patterns because they are most likely going to give signs that they need to be let outside. Some dogs might whine while others may wait by the door.
Understanding your dog’s behavior can help you determine whether they are looking out the window because they need to potty or simply because they want to spend some time outside.
Reason 4: It Is Brain Stimulation For Dogs
Dogs are generally active and playful animals. If they aren’t able to exhibit these characteristics by running around, playing, or having jobs, they may try to find other ways to keep their minds running.
A dog might look out the window because they are looking for ways to stay stimulated throughout the day.
As mentioned before, looking outside the window can be entertaining. However, if not given enough mental stimulation, watching the people passing and the animals moving around outside might be a dog’s outlet for exercising their brain.
Many dog breeds were bred for a purpose. They had jobs such as hunting, herding, and guarding as mentioned previously. Dogs still have the energy and instincts to do those jobs even when they haven’t individually been trained to do those tasks. This means that they also still need a way to work their brains despite not having a “job.”
Different ways to keep a dog’s mind going can be using puzzle toys or snuffle mats. Dog owners that have dogs that don’t particularly enjoy toys can use this article to learn about ways to keep their favorite pooch entertained without toys.
Reason 5: They Are Looking Out For Prey
Some dogs might have the instinct to look for prey. As a result, they might keep an eye out and look out the window because they are watching for prey.
As mentioned before, most dog breeds were bred to be able to do a task or job. Some hunting breeds include the Beagle, the Golden Retriever, and the German Shorthaired Pointer. Hunting dogs were bred for the purpose of chasing and catching prey. Because of this, these dogs have the instinct to chase after animals. On some occasions, they may even go as far as killing the animals they caught.
Looking out of a window can allow a hunting dog to use those instincts and watch out for small movements outside. They may be watching out for small mammals or birds moving around the area and while they cannot catch them from inside, they can keep their tracking skills sharp by spotting the other animals.
Reason 6: They Are Waiting For Their Owner To Come Home
Some dogs might look out the window most of the day because they are waiting for their owners to come home. Many dogs are left at home while their owners are off at work or just going somewhere for a few hours. At this time, there might not be much else to do for their dogs except look out the window and wait for their owners to come back.
However, if the dog watches the window and waits all day, and acts as if they cannot function without their owner, there is a chance the dog has separation anxiety. This may be difficult to notice since you are the owner and are not sure what your dog does without you being present.
Having a dog camera or monitor can help check in on your dog every once in a while to see what and how they are doing. Checking the state of furniture and if the dog hasn’t pottied anywhere in the house can also be a sign since dogs can be destructive if experiencing separation anxiety.
Check out this funny video of a dog watching his owner from every window of the house:
Reason 7: They Feel Warm In The Sunlight
Some dogs like to look out of the window because they like feeling the warmth of the sun.
When it’s not too hot out, the feeling of warmth from the sun can be an amazing thing for both humans and dogs. Dogs might realize that laying in the sun feels great and that the best place to be to catch some rays is by being near the window.
Dogs might also happen to look out the window while getting some sun in combination with one of the reasons previously mentioned. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend some time warming up with the sun while staying entertained?
It’s important to keep your dog safe from the harmful rays of the sun and make sure that your dog doesn’t end up overheating, especially brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs or boxers among many others.
Why Do Dogs Look Out The Car Window?
While there are many times in which a dog would look out of the window of a house or other living space, there are as many times in when a dog might stick their head out of a car window while on a drive.
Reason 8: Dogs Want To Smell The Different Scents Outside
By sticking their head or even just their snout out of the window, dogs can smell the different scents as their owner drives past different buildings. They can probably smell all the trees, food, and buildings.
Scents that are not common in their daily lives can be exciting and interesting to dogs. They may start to wonder where the scents are coming from and where they lead!
Reason 9: New Places Can Be Exciting To Dogs
Just as new scents can be exciting for dogs, dogs might also find seeing new sights just as interesting!
Looking out of the window of the car can give a dog a chance to see new places. They may be trying to take in all the information and possibly even notice if some spots look familiar.
Exploring new places and smelling new scents can give a dog the mental stimulation mentioned earlier.
Should You Worry About Your Dog Looking Out The Window?
Looking out of a window is generally not something to worry about, but there may be a few circumstances in which a professional could be beneficial.
If you notice that your dog may be overly protective of their territory to the point that they start barking the moment they see someone approach the window then it may be best to contact a professional trainer to help show your pup that the people or animals outside aren’t a threat.
If your dog shows signs of separation anxiety or they are looking outside of the window because they are bored you might want to consider taking them on longer walks and using games to stimulate them mentally and physically. If you have to be absent from home for long hours consider asking a friend or getting a sitter to walk and entertain your dog while you’re gone.
Looking out of a window might seem like a meaningless action, but there are more reasons than we would think why a dog would do so.
By understanding our dogs’ behaviors and actions, we can communicate with them better and help them when they are in need of help. Better communication leads to a better relationship with our four-legged companions and even looking out of a window could tell you how your dog is feeling in the moment!