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How to Stop a Dog from Barking at the TV – Step-by-Step Guide

man watching TV with his dog

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.

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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.

Image Credit: BCCWM, Shutterstock


There are a few tools to have on hand before you start this process:

  • A treat your dog loves and that’s safe for them to eat.
  • A leash that’s easy for you to handle.
  • A few videos online that contain barking triggers such as squirrels or other dogs.
  • A word or phrase such as “leave it” to say when your dog reacts to the television.

Now that you’ve got everything in place, you can follow these seven steps to keep your dog from making noise at the TV.

 How To  Stop Your Dog from Barking At The TV (6 Steps)

1. Sit with your dog in front of the television.

woman watching tv with her do
Image Credit: Lazy_Bear, Shutterstock

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  it lunges toward the TV or try to get away from you, it’s easy to bring it close again.

2. Offer your dog treats before they start barking.

giving dog a treat
Image Credit: Omerlavon, Pixabay

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.

golden retriever dogs lying on the floor with their owner at home
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

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 it doesn’t bark.

Funny dog eating appetizing treat
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

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  it the treats when  it starts to bark or react to the screen. Let the dog sniff the treat for a few seconds. If  your dog quiets down, let  it eat the snack. If  it doesn’t, wait a little bit and offer the treat again. While it can take some time,  your dog will quickly learn that it gets rewarded when  it relaxes.

5. Build up the tolerance to videos & be patient.

dogs watching TV
Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

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.

boxer dog lying on carpeted floor at home
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

The quickest way to derail the process is to be inconsistent. Once you start this training, your dog will get confused if you let it 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 its crate or another room where  it can rest in a positive environment without getting confused.


Final Thoughts

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

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