Why Do Dogs Look Out the Window?

If you have kept one or more dogs, the chances are you will have noticed that they love to sit and stare out of the window.

From my personal experience, most dogs enjoy doing this. In fact, every dog I have ever owned has done it.

So why do they do this?

Why do dogs like looking out the window so much?

Let’s find out.

Why Does Your Dog Look Out of the Window for Hours at a Time?

Dogs look out the window for several reasons, including watching for potential threats (canine or human), watching for prey, and general simulation (similar to humans watching movies or listening to music).

Unless they are barking at people or dogs, there is no harm in them doing it, and it can be stimulating and enriching.

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A List of Reasons Why Dogs Look Out the Window:

  1. Guarding the property.
  2. Watching for prey.
  3. General stimulation.
  4. They are waiting for their owners to come home.

Let’s look at each one of those reasons in more detail.

1. Guarding the Property

Most breeds of dogs have some territorial instinct to guard the area where they live.

Obviously, a Rottweiler is more likely to be territorial than a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, but all breeds can still display this trait.

For dogs with a strong territorial instinct, looking out of the window and making sure no one comes onto their patch comes naturally.

NOTE – Check out this post if you are interested in reading about if your dog would protect you if you were attacked.

2. Watching for Prey

Like the guarding instinct, many dogs have a hunting instinct and are fascinated by watching potential prey.

Even tiny miniature Yorkshire Terriers were initially bred as tough little hunting dogs and still have a powerful prey drive.

If you live in an area where cats, birds, squirrels, or other types of wildlife are often present, this can be highly stimulating for your dog.

Dog looking out window

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3. General Stimulation

Have you ever stared at the TV, not paying any attention to what’s on, just being distracted and entertained without paying attention?

Well, staring out of the window is similar to this for your dog.

They might not be looking at anything in particular, just enjoying the view and the changes that occur.

This is a perfectly natural and normal thing to do, and in most cases, it’s a healthy way for your dog to gain mental stimulation.

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4. Waiting for Their Owners to Come Home

This is the cutest and the most well-known reason dogs like looking out the window.

Dogs have a clever ability to sense when their owners are coming home and will often look out the window as they excitedly wait to greet them.

How do they do this? They might see the owner’s car through the window or catch their scent before they are visible.

But what about a dog who waits for a while, staring out of the window when they seem to know their owner is coming home?

This short but fascinating video has a really clever theory. Believe it or not, it’s related to smell!

Just click the video to start playing and find out just how clever dogs really are:


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Can This Behavior Cause Problems?

The only way that this behavior could be an issue is if it either stresses out the dog or disturbs other people or pets.

For example, your dog barks and growls at other dogs or people. This isn’t good for your dog or anyone else.

So, if your dog gets angry, aggressive, upset, and whiny when they look out of the window, it might not be the best thing for them (or your neighbors).

If this is the case, you should block off the window or stop them from getting near it so they can’t continue doing it.

At first, they might whine and complain, but they will soon get used to it.

Note – If you stop your dog from looking out of their favorite window, you should do your best to give them something interesting to do, such as a chew toy or spend more time playing with them.

Before we go any further, here is a cute video of a lovely dog looking out a window:


Note – You might also enjoy reading this post answering the question, why do dogs’ eyes dilate sometimes?

Should You Encourage Your Dog to Look Out of the Window?

Assuming that the behavior doesn’t upset your dog or cause any issues for you or your neighbors, you should encourage it.

Dogs need plenty of mental stimulation to be happy and mentally healthy.

If they can get some of that from looking out of your windows, then great.

Some dog owners even go as far as to make shelves or raised platforms so their dogs can enjoy looking at a splendid view!

Final Notes About Why Dogs Like Looking Out the Window

Dogs look out the window because of their guarding instinct, hunting instinct, or just for general stimulation.

Unless they get stressed out or aggressive from this behavior, there is nothing to worry about, and in fact, it should be encouraged as a great way of keeping them entertained.

That is the end of this posting looking at the question – why do dogs look out the window?

We hope that you enjoyed reading it.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to join in the conversation using the form below.

NOTE – If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like to read this one looking at the question – can dogs see through glass windows?

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