Help- Puppy barking at own reflection

(9 Posts)
bpisok Wed 12-Sep-18 08:05:48

So....we have a 9 week old puppy. House training going well however we have slight problem.

When it gets dark the puppy sees its own reflection in the patio door, starts to back up and bark and growl. This is the door she goes out to the toilet and makes her very reluctant to go out.
I have tried picking her up and taking her to the door whilst having a cuddle but she just turns her head away.

In the short term we have sticky taped a tea towel across the window area at her height so we have 'a short term fix', but is there any way to stop this or do I have to live with the tea towel forever? Or should I just let her growl and hope she grows out of it?

...any advice welcome!!

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BiteyShark Wed 12-Sep-18 08:15:58

My dog used to get upset when we left him and it was because he could see his reflection in the patio doors. I got a roll of opaque window covering and put that on the bottom third of the glass. It's doesn't look wonderful but it does the job and is one that sticks using water so can easily be removed or replaced.

bpisok Wed 12-Sep-18 08:33:59

Thanks @BiteyShark

Is the window covering still there or did bitey grow out of it?

We pretty much never leave puppy alone (she has only been with us a week) and she's a very happy pup so def not separation issue. Other than her own reflection she hasn't barked at anything (we have had kids visit, aunt on crutches, the dishwasher and washing machine on, the hoover and hairdryer and even the cat - although the cat runs away in disgust). I have tried putting her teddy closer and closer to the door but she's still freaked.

Although I am more than happy to live with the glass being covered what happens when she visits people who have patio doors? I can't imagine going to mum and dads for dinner and having DDog barking and trying to sit on my foot for 3 hours.

I am aware that how we train puppy and how we familiarise her now will affect her behaviour going forward so I am trying to start as we mean to go on (boy am I tired - in and out the garden, playing tug, sit, come....) but I can't work out how to crack this one 😕

Any further ideas- I am beginning to think we should just let her bark at herself until she gets bored!!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Wed 12-Sep-18 08:40:18

BiteyDog doesn't bark when we are around but will when he is left if the window is not covered and it's dark outside so he sees his reflection. Given that we leave him alone for a few hours a week I have kept the covering up rather than uncover it and watch him get upset (I watch him on camera when he is alone).

You could try leaving yours to bark but I didn't like listening to him for hours getting upset given that I wanted him to relax when we were out. And he did bark continuously when it was uncovered.

bpisok Wed 12-Sep-18 12:01:55

Mmmm ....that's what I thought you were going to say @BiteyShark and I don't like the idea of her being stressed either but I do want to get it fixed somehow

Perhaps I will leave the tea towel, then remove it and try to gradually lure her towards the window with treats in a few weeks (she has an upset tummy so I have reverted to her kibble for a while- I suspect the treats were a bit sudden).

It's funny because the first couple of days she didn't even notice her reflection

...puppies are odd little souls 🤨

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isthismylifenow Wed 12-Sep-18 12:09:34

My lab pup did this every time he walked past the oven. He would get himself all very upset on the way to get his dinner. It did pass though.

He will have a look at himself every now and then now. I think he just says to himself, oh what a handsome fella you are grin

bpisok Wed 12-Sep-18 15:14:31

@isthismylifenow - phew. So the tea towels might not be a permanent fixture nor travelling with us every tine we visit someone 😀

This is my first dog and we are trying really hard to bring her up properly with reward based training, showing her what is and isn't acceptable whilst making her feel loved.

....I just keep running into unexpected behaviours for example the incessant leaf and moss munching. I need eyes in the back of my head!!

OP’s posts: |


missbattenburg Wed 12-Sep-18 15:39:01

If it's any hope, Battendog used to growl at his own reflection in ground level mirrors. He grew out of it in time....

I wouldn't try and lure him towards it, it makes his reflection more important than it is. I think I might be tempted to keep it covered over winter and reveal next summer when she is older and the light lasts much longer into the day. This gives her chance to gradually get used to the dark reflections as winter draws in...

You can get some lovely and easy to apply window films that allow light in but opaque the glass and prevent reflections (I used purlfrost but there are others out there). They also come off very easily when you are sick of them.

Ha! at the unexpected behaviours. They develop the weirdest quirks (but almost all pass again in time).

MsHomeSlice Wed 12-Sep-18 15:46:22

our current dog loves his reflection in tesco...the mirror things they have at the checkout, and in fact any mirror he sees if we are out ...he puffs himself up as if to say, "see how handsome I am" , he's not wrong to be fair, he is adorable! He's a guide dog pup before you all think I am craycray about tesco!

he seems to be slightly more perturbed at the dog in the tv...he has been nose to nose with that one, I have the radio on most of the day on the tv and a black screen saver comes up so if it is sunny it reflects and he looks askance at it.

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