why does my dog bark at other dogs on tv
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you ve just settled in for a cozy night at home with the dog. You re all snuggled up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and your favorite TV show, when suddenly, on screen, a doorbell rings. And your dog freaks out. Not all dogs bark at the TV, but the ones who do can be confounding. How do you explain to them that it s just a show? Even better, how do you train your dog not to bark at the TV at all? Read on to learn why dogs bark at the TV, and how you can get them to stop. Studies show that dogs can perceive images on TV similar to the way we do, and they re smart enough to recognize other animals onscreenБespecially when the screen is
big! б However, dogs perceive at a faster rate than humans, and they have a more limited color palate. So depending on the size of your TV screen, your dog may be able to pick out specific images, or they may simply be reacting to a confusing jumble of motion and light. Of course, dogs also have amazing ears. Often, they react to sounds on television as much as sights. And they may not be able to tell the difference between a televised noise and one happening in real life! That s why so many dogs bark when a doorbell rings on TV. As to why dogs bark at the TV, it really depends on the dog. Some reasons your dog barks at the tv may include: Confusion : What are all those people doing, and why aren t they there if I run around the back of the screen? б Excitement : Ooh! A dog! I love dogs! I want to bark at the dog! Warning : Hey mom and dad! There s something moving towards us! Just thought you should know!
Habit : I bark at everything that moves, so I might as well bark at this, too! The following tips will help you teach your dog not to bark every time the TV comes on. Some dogs react out of habit, but you can help them re-set their habits and calm down. It just takes time and patient training. One way to train your dog to not bark at the TV: reward them for being calm and quiet! Pay close attention to your dog s behavior while the TV is on. When a sight or sound comes up that they would normally react to, give them a treat ASAP. Give them several treats in a row as long as they remain quiet. After giving your dog a few treats, pause to let them look back at the screen, then give them a few more treats. Keep treating your dog until the offending figure has left the screen (or stopped making noise). The idea is to condition your dog to associate stuff on screen with treats. After a few short training sessions, they should start looking to you instead of barking. From there, you can gradually wean them off of treats, using an occasional biscuit or even affection and attention to reward their positive behavior. The idea is to gradually condition them to relax and focus on spending time with you, rather than the images and sounds onscreen. When in doubt, distract! While you watch your favorite show, you can play tug or fetch with your dog. Keep them busy so you can enjoy your program without the sound of barking. Toys and games can also be used as training aids. Simply follow the above suggestions for how to train your dog using playtime (instead of treats) as a reward.
You don t have to sacrifice TV time with the dog. Just turn it into TV-and-a-treat time. A stuffed toy, antler, or can occupy their attention and their mouth, keeping them from barking at the screen. Or, give your dog a challenging for even more brain-busting, TV-distracting fun. Another option, if you watch TV at the same time every day, is to pair TV time with your dog s meals. Teach them to connect meal time with TV time. A tired dog is a relaxed dog, and a relaxed dog is less likely to react to sight and sound triggers on TV. If you know you ll be spending time on the couch, take your dog for a long walk or playdate ahead of time. By the time you re browsing Hulu, your dog will be too busy snoozing to notice what s on the screen. Listen: some dogs just can t handle hearing strange noises on TV. Training is the best long-term solution, but if you really need to go on a Netflix binge with your dog right now, you may have to resort to wireless headphones. You can still hear what s going on in the show, but your dog will only hear you. It s a compromise that may make both of your lives less stressful. Featured image: This post containsб affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy something when you click one, we mayб receive a small commission. б б to learn more. I m still working on this issue with my 1yo pup. But I was able to watch the Westminster Dog Show last night without much fuss, so he s coming along. When I researched this issue online I found an about canine vision and how with newer HDTV s with refresh rates of 120hz, this is the first time dogs have been able to see what is on the a television as fluid movement, before, at lower refresh rates, they just saw images that dogs perceived as flickering static images, without fluid realistic motion.
What I ve been doing is desensitizing my dog to the TV. My dog reacts most strongly to seeing other dogs on the screen, so I made a point to record some dog competitions and shows. so I have a few agility competitions and a some dog shows on my DVR so I can work on it whenever I want. I started off with a bunch of high value treats, and no volume on the TV. I got my dog sitting comfortably and started playing the show. I basically just tried to keep him focused on me and the treats and fed a treat any time he was able to not lunge at the television, or would look at the TV, start to get agitated, but would redirect his attention back to me. Barking was naturally reduced because he couldn t bark and eat treats at the same time. I did this about a half dozen times and he started getting pretty good at not lunging and barking. so I upped the criteria and turned the volume up. not normal listening levels, but enough that he could hear barking. We worked on it at low volume and then worked our way up to normal volume. He still reacts to the dragons on Game of Thrones, and some violent action sequences, but nothing as bad as it used to be (he ll jump up and growl at the TV, but that s about it). I keep treats by the sofa so we can still work on it on the fly if he gets riled up about something. It s still a work in progress.
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