When you’re watching television, you don’t want your dog to bark at every little noise or movement on the screen. As much as you love your pet, continuous growling and barking will grate on your nerves. You want to be able to relax in your home with your dog beside you.
Some dogs will only bark at particular triggers on TV such as a bird flying or a wolf howling while others will bark at almost anything you watch. A dog that won’t stop barking can feel like an impossible problem to solve, but there are proven steps you can take to reduce the problem. The steps in this guide will help you pinpoint the cause of your dog’s behavior and find a solution that works.
Before You Begin Training
Every dog has a unique personality and temperament. Some dogs are more stubborn than others or have issues from past owners that are hard to fix. It may take time to address their barking at the television problem, but with some patience and consistency, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows in peace again.
There are a few tools to have on hand before you start this process:
Now that you’ve got everything in place, you can follow these six steps to keep your dog from making noise at the TV.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking at the TV
1. Sit With Your Dog in Front of the Television
The first step is to get your dog next to you in front of your TV. Pull up videos that you know will elicit a barking response. It’s best to pick options that include many potential triggers so that you don’t waste time on commercials or random moments your dog won’t notice.
The key here is to get your dog used to stimulating images and sounds on the screen. While not totally necessary, you may want to have your dog on a leash for the entire process. This way, if they lunge toward the TV or try to get away from you, it’s easy to bring them close again.
2. Offer Your Dog Treats Before They Start Barking
As you start playing the videos you’ve selected, offer some favorite treats to your pet. The presence of their beloved snacks will distract your dog from what’s going on in front of them. Be careful to only give the treats when your dog isn’t reacting to the television. You don’t want to accidentally reward the behavior you’re trying to stop.
3. Use Your Selected Training Phrase
If your dog reacts in any way to the videos, use a firm but calm tone to tell them to stop the behavior. You can pick a word or short phrase that makes sense to you, such as “No” or “Stop.” If you already have trained your dog to leave something alone, use the same command. Repeatedly remind them to stop barking at the television or lunging toward it.
4. Consistently Reward Your Dog When They Don’t Bark
Being patient is key. Let your dog watch the videos with you as many times as it takes. Keep your dog close to you and show them the treats when they start to bark or react to the screen. Let the dog sniff the treat for a few seconds. If your dog quiets down, let them eat the snack. If they don’t, wait a little bit and offer the treat again. While it can take some time, your dog will quickly learn that they get rewarded when they relax.
5. Build Up the Tolerance to Videos & Be Patient
Like all training exercises, it’s going to take repeated sessions to get your dog to stop barking. Some dogs will respond to the training more quickly than others. The key is to get your dog used to the stimuli and excitement on television and to be consistent with rewarding good behavior. You want the experience to be a positive one overall, so don’t react with anger.
6. Keep Your Dog Out of the Room If You Don’t Have Time to Train
The quickest way to derail the process is to be inconsistent. Once you start this training, your dog will get confused if you let them bark at the television one day but not the next. You might have times where you don’t have the time or patience to work with your dog. If you just need to unwind, put your dog in their crate or another room where they can rest in a positive environment without getting confused.
Dogs don’t bark to annoy you. They are usually just excited or nervous about what’s going on around them. The key is to change their response to the environment around them. Positive reinforcement and being consistent with your dog will make all the difference. Every dog is different, so the amount of time it takes for the training will vary. But by following the steps in this article, hopefully, you’ll be able to stop this unwanted behavior from occurring.
Featured Image Credit: Eugenio Marongiu, Shutterstock