A dog might jump out of a window in your car or home. Dogs are less likely to jump out of screened windows, but some dogs will get excited and break the screen. If a dog jumps out of an upper-story window or a car window, they can be severely injured.
In this article, we’ll talk about whether a dog will jump out of a window and how to prevent them from doing so.
Some Dogs will Jump out of Windows
Some dogs will jump from windows, whether in your car or in your home.
Even if your dog wouldn’t typically jump out of a window, it’s possible that something scares them or tempts them and they act out of the ordinary.
While not every dog will jump out of a window, it’s best to take precautions due to the risk involved.
If a dog jumps out of a moving car and into traffic, they can be injured or even run over by passing cars. Falls from upper stories can also severely hurt a dog. Your dog could even be killed when jumping out of a window in either instance.
Even a dog escaping from a first-floor home window can be dangerous, because your dog could run off and get lost or hurt. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed outside unsupervised unless it’s into a fenced-in yard.
Most states have leash laws that prohibit this as well, or make it dangerous for your dog to be off leash. If your dog is loose, you could be fined, or they could be taken to a shelter or killed.
Lastly, your dog could get into trouble while loose, and you could be held liable. For instance, if your dog bites someone or got into a dog fight, the other person could sue you and would likely win due to your dog being allowed to roam freely.
Factors that Make Dogs More Likely to Jump out of Windows
Every situation and dog is not the same. Some dogs will jump out of windows while others won’t, and this difference might occur for a number of reasons.
Factors that increase the risk of a dog jumping out of a window include:
- Windows that are open all of the way or far enough for the dog to fit through
- Something scares your dog, and they want to escape the car or home
- Your dog sees something they want, such as a squirrel, mail carrier, or another dog
- A home window without a screen
- Home windows on the first floor
- In the car, your dog isn’t strapped in
- The dog hasn’t been trained not to jump from windows
- Your dog has a high prey drive
- Your dog is high-energy
Below, I’ll discuss these factors more in-depth and explain how to keep your dog from jumping out of windows.
Don’t Open Windows too Far
The first and most simple thing you can do to keep your dog inside your car or home is to keep the windows closed—at least enough so that your dog can’t climb out.
Of course, this is easier for smaller dogs. Large dogs might be able to push windows further open.
In the car, keep windows down just enough for your dog to stick their heads out but nothing more. If they can push it open further, consider keeping the windows closed all of the way instead.
For small dogs that can’t reach a cracked window, consider keeping them closed entirely instead of rolling them all of the way down.
At home, try cracking your windows but not opening them fully. I do this due to my cats, a couple of whom are excellent escape artists!
My windows can lock while cracked, so I lock them to keep the animals from pushing them open more fully. If you have this option, it can be great for keeping your dog in as well.
Like in cars, if your dog can push the window open then you might want to consider keeping them closed entirely. You could also try opening the windows while you can supervise and closing them when you’re out of the room.
Buckle Your Dog in the Car
Keeping your dog restrained while in the car is so important to their safety! It not only keeps them from jumping out of the window, but also:
- Keeps them from being ejected from the car in case of a crash.
- Prevents them from colliding with you during a crash, which can happen at great force. According to Kurgo’s dog travel statistics, “an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force.”
- Makes them less of a distraction as you drive, since they’re held in place.
Despite all of these risks, only 16% of us restrain our dogs in any way while in the car.
You can keep your dog safer by using a carrier or crate strapped down in your vehicle, a dog car seat, or a seat belt made for dogs.
Screened Windows Keep Most Dogs In
When it comes to our homes, screened windows will keep most dogs inside. However, there are plenty of dogs that will jump right through the screen given the opportunity.
Once, my dog Charlie didn’t see the screen on the sliding glass door and went right through in his effort to get to the car as fast as possible. (After all, he wouldn’t want to be left behind!)
I’ve also heard of dogs jumping through screens in an attempt to get to the mail carrier or delivery person who was too close to their house!
Your dog might be calm by the window except for certain times, such as when another dog passes by, or they see a squirrel they’d like to chase.
If you have a new dog and you don’t know whether or not they’ll go through the screen, I advise supervising them at first. Close the window when you leave the room until you’re sure your dog won’t try to jump through it.
You May have to Keep Windows Closed
Unfortunately, some dogs are escape artists. You might end up having to keep your windows closed permanently, especially in your home.
While you can strap your dog into the car and know they aren’t going anywhere, there’s no way to keep them permanently away from the windows in your house without being cruel.
Your dog needs to be able to live in your house, not be locked away all of the time.
If you would like some fresh air from time to time, try:
- Supervising your dog when the windows are open
- Airing out the house when you leave with your dog on a walk or car ride
- Airing out a single room with the door shut so your dog cannot get to the window
- Opening windows at night while your dog is sleeping in their crate or in another room with a shut door
- Only opening windows that your dog cannot reach (easier for short dogs, but keep in mind that your dog can jump!)
- Purchasing pet-proof screens as I’ll discuss below
Pet-Proof Screens Can Help
There are pet-proof screens on the market, but you’ll need to make sure they’ll actually work for your dog. Some dogs will be able to get through pet-proof screens, especially some of the cheaper options.
You’ll likely need a heavy-duty screen to keep your pup in, and large dogs might be able to get through just about anything.
Dogs Will Jump out of Windows on Upper Floors
It’s easy to think that our dogs have more common sense than they do. But what is common sense to people isn’t always to animals!
A dog looking out of a second story window might see a squirrel and their only thought is to get to it! They don’t see the long fall or think about the injuries they might sustain in that moment.
While some dogs are smart enough not to jump out of a window too far from the ground, some dogs just aren’t.
Other dogs might know better, but then they get too excited and aren’t really thinking. As I said, “squirrel=chase” might be as far as they think!
Make sure your upper-floor windows are screened and, if you think your dog might jump out, don’t leave them unattended with the windows open.
Train Your Dog not to Jump Out of Windows
Lastly, you can train your dog not to jump out of windows. However, this will work more for keeping your dog inside while supervised than it will when you look away or walk into another room.
It’s just too dangerous to test whether a dog will listen when you aren’t around—especially when the answer is probably no!
If you’d just like to enjoy some fresh air while you’re with your dog, try training them by:
- Teach your dog basic commands first. Commands like sit, down, and stay are building blocks that are invaluable. You can use them all when training your dog not to jump out of windows!
- Have your dog sit or lie down away from the window. Start off with your dog a good distance away from the window. This will make it easier for them to contain themselves, and for you to close the window before they can escape!
- Tell your dog to “stay.” The first stay should be very, very short! You can extend it over time.
- Open the window, but stay in front of it. If your dog comes close, block them with your body so that they can’t get out.
- Close the window and treat your dog for listening. If your dog stays in place, give them a reward such as a treat, a toy, or some pets and praise! Choose whatever motivates them best.
- Slowly extend the “stay” time and (maybe) let them closer to the window. Ideally, by the end you can sit near the window with your dog beside you and they won’t jump out. However, not every dog will get there, and that’s okay! Maybe you don’t even want them so close—laying on the floor away from the window is far better than jumping out of it.
- Use your best judgment. Of course, each window will come with different risk factors. Use your best judgment to determine whether training your dog is worth the risk. For instance, letting your dog sit near a window on the fifth floor is probably a bad idea. On a first-story window that goes into the back yard, there’s a lot less risk.
- A note about dogs with high prey drives: Dogs with very high prey drives, such as sighthound breeds, may be unable to be trained not to chase. It’s difficult to impossible to teach reliable recall to these breeds as well, meaning it will be harder to retrieve them if they get out.
It’s better to just keep these dogs properly enclosed, and that might mean keeping the windows shut rather than expecting your dog to act against their instincts.
Never encourage your dog to jump out of windows, because this is very risky for them even if they’re not jumping a great distance. It could also teach them that jumping out of windows is always okay, even in a moving vehicle or from a multi-story building.
Don’t punish your dog for jumping out of windows, either. Punishment doesn’t work and might even make your dog fearful of you or aggressive.
While it’s tempting to scold our dogs for doing wrong, remember that they won’t understand and that this does more harm than good.
Writer: Katelynn Sobus