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How To Stop a Dog From Barking At The TV In 5 Steps

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

woman watching TV with her dog

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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While barking is very natural for dogs, it’s the last thing you want to hear when you’ve just curled up on the couch with snacks and pressed play on your favorite show on Netflix.

As pet parents, we all know dogs bark, but why do they have to bark at the TV?

And, how do you stop that barking before it drives you insane?

In this guide, we’ll answer these questions and give you a few steps so that you can watch your next Netflix show in silence.

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Why Do Dogs Bark At The TV?

golden doodle dog barking at home
Image Credit: dahancoo, Pixabay

There are quite a few reasons your dog might be barking at the TV.

One reason is that they’re excited about what they see. The TV brings a whole new world into their existence, and they are welcoming it in the only way they know how. Your dog could also be barking because they’re scared of what’s happening. For example, gunshots or explosions from your favorite crime show could possibly startle your dog or bring back a bad experience for them. This causes them to bark at the TV as a warning, especially if they aren’t sure where the shots and explosions are coming from.

Two other possibilities are that your dog wants to join in the fun you’re having and barking is their way of doing that, or, your dog wants your attention and knows they’ll get it if they bark.

The final possibility is that your dog hears or sees something on the screen they see as a threat to their home. If they feel that something on the TV is threatening you, they’ll bark to warn you that something is happening.

Now that you know a few of the reasons your dog might bark at the TV, we’ll move into a few steps you can follow to stop this behavior. As with any pet, there is no guarantee that these steps will work, but giving them a try gives you the best chance of being able to watch your next movie in peace.

Steps for Stopping Your Dog From Barking At The TV

While it’s not guaranteed that these steps will work, we’ll list some options below for you to try.

1. Understand the Problem

close up of a puggle dog opening its mouth
Image Credit: caprarola26, Pixabay

The first thing you should do is try to understand the problem—why is your dog is barking at the TV? We gave you a few reasons above; you just need to determine which one fits your situation.

You should also realize your dog might not see that the sounds are coming from the TV and think that there is a threat in another part of the house. Once you’ve determined what the problem is, you can move on to the next step on the list.


2. Determine Which Shows Trigger The Barking

a cute dog barking at home
Image Credit: Alexey Demidov, Pexels

Your next step should be to determine which shows are triggering your dog’s barking. For example, your dog might be barking at a nature show where he sees an animal that interests them, or again it could be the loud noises coming from an action movie you’re watching.

Observe your dog’s behavior to determine which of the shows or movies is causing the barking to start, and then avoid watching those shows while your pooch is around.


3. Play with Your Dog Before TV Time

owner using dog toy to play with his pet
Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock

If you want your dog to behave when you’re watching TV, you might want to give them attention and play a game with them before you settle down to watch your show. Whether it’s a game of rough and tumble in the garden or a brisk walk, if your dog is tired out when the show starts, it won’t be long until they’re asleep beside you on the couch.


4. Use a Reward System

a Labrador dog getting heart shaped cookie treat
Image Credit: Maya Shustov, Shutterstock

You can also train your dog not to bark at the TV by using positive reinforcement techniques. Whenever your dog sits quietly on the couch with you during a show, reward them with one of their favorite treats.

Soon, your pet will associate the treat with being quiet when the TV is on, and soon you’ll hopefully have no trouble at all.


5. Patience and Consistency

golden retriever dog lying on couch with tv remote
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

While this might not really be a step in the process, it’s worth talking about. The only way you’re going to be able to stop your dog from barking at the TV is by being patient and consistent with training.

Never yell or hit your dog for barking at the TV; in fact, never yell at or hit your dog for any reason. Also, be consistent in your training so the dog knows what’s expected of them. For example, you can’t let your dog bark throughout a show one day and scold them for it the next. If your dog doesn’t know what’s expected of it when you’re watching TV, then how can you expect it to behave?

Patience and consistency are key when it comes to training your dog and the best way to achieve the right results.

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Final Thoughts

Dogs bark at the TV for various reasons, and finding out why is the first step in stopping the behavior. The steps we listed above are just a few of the ways that you can train your dog to stop barking at the TV. Remember, always be patient and consistent with your pet for the best results.


Featured Image Credit: Lazy_Bear, Shutterstock

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