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Re: Barking at the television

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  November 03, 2002 at 23:34:22

In Reply to: Barking at the television
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Kara
Posted on:  November 02, 2002 at 18:03:25

Question:

: My nine month old unneutered JRT has started barking at the television. He is not only barking at other dogs on the tv but sporting events such as golf and basketball. He gets plenty of exercise (at least 6 good walks a day) and plenty of games of fetch in the house. How can we fix this before he drives the neighbors to the point of complaining?


Response:

Dear Kara,

Dogs don't start a behavior without a reason -- us humans are often the reason. Either by encouraging our dogs to react to something or by not appropriately correcting them everytime they do, we teach them how to behave.

Stopping your terrier from barking at the television requires that you first get his attention and then reward him for obeying a command. You'll need a squirt bottle of water or a soda can with coins in it (both are very effective attention-getters) and a pocketful of treats. The instant you have his attention, command him to be "quiet!" or tell him "enough!" (or whatever command you want to use.) Reward him immediately for his silence EVERY time he obeys; you have 3 seconds for him to make the connection.

Continue the training for as long as it takes for your pup to learn your command to stop barking at the television. You may want to considier limiting his exposure to the TV during this time so neither of you get too stressed out by the training. With patience and consistency, Kara, your little guy will still be able to enjoy watching television without getting your neighbors upset. :-)

Best,
Leslie