When the frigid temperatures of winter have you and your furry friend cooped up, don’t let it get you down! You may be asking yourself, “It’s so cold, what can I do with my dog?” Don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways to bond (and continue training) with your puppy despite the chilly weather getting in the way of your usual adventuring. Like humans, most dogs love to cuddle when it’s cold and share a relaxing night in. So, it’s time to pop some popcorn, break out the doggie treats, and settle in to enjoy a movie together.
Do Dogs Enjoy Watching TV?
Although canines do not see television in the same way we do, many dogs do appear to like watching TV. Some even show endearing and not-so-charming personality traits when they do. A dog’s vision isn’t as sharp for image processing as ours is, so many like to sit close to the television to help them clearly see the figures on the screen. They also have different color processing in their retinas. This causes them to see blues, greens, and yellows better, and of course, they have stronger sight in the dark making them very sensitive to motion. While we don’t notice any flickering between images your pup will see the screen refreshing up to 75 hertz. Current TVs and computers are refreshed at a much higher speed making them a much smoother viewing experience for you and man’s best friend too.
Odds are your puppy has been exposed to the television already and maybe they don’t seem to care one way or the other about what’s on the screen. However, if there are things that you’ve noticed your pup reacts to adversely, the TV can become a great training tool.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking at the TV
You may find that the sight of another animal on the screen can cause your pup to respond in excitement or the sound of a bark causes their protective instincts to kick in. While these responses may be endearing at first or even occasionally- you probably don’t find them to be completely ideal. However, with you by their side to help guide and train them, movie night can be a much more calm and relaxing experience for both of you.
Exposing your puppy to movies with all sorts of sights and sounds that could cause them to react negatively can be just what your little furball needs. When you’re there to bring calm and redirect their energy you can help your pup move past excitement, confusion, or anxiety. Oftentimes when they are left to themselves their behavior is prone to escalate. For example, if your puppy gets excited by the sight of other animals playing it can quickly turn to frustration. They can get confused by these dogs that are allowed to play, run, jump, and bark right in the middle of the living room. This is where those dog treats can come in handy!
Can Dogs Learn From Watching TV?
When you notice the TV has grabbed your pup’s attention give them a treat before they get too excited while telling them how good they are. This reinforces the idea that staying relaxed no matter what is on the television is a positive event- and one that is rewarded. Pairing this with a “leave it” command will help coach your pup to remain calm without a treat in other applications. Suppose you are at the park once the weather warms up and your feisty furball catches sight of some birds to chase. A simple, but firm “leave it” will remind them of the training you’ve done in the comforts of your home on these chilly nights.
Now we understand that sometimes a dog’s personality showing itself during movies can be quite entertaining. We’ve known some of our own pups to growl at the bad guy in a movie or whine to show concern for a fellow canine in a tight spot. In these situations, it’s perfectly fine to let them express themselves and ride that wave of emotions. It’s all about balancing their behavior to not go to extremes and be the confident pack leader they need.
Training Your Dog with the TV
Even if your pup is not one to show much interest in watching a movie or have any major reactions to the sounds they hear, the television can still be a great training tool. The TV is great for desensitizing your little guy from everyday sounds that they do react to. If your puppy develops habits of barking when someone knocks at the door or shows fear during a thunderstorm you can find great videos on YouTube to help them overcome these habits. There are videos ranging from hours of birds playing, doors knocking to loud thunderstorms, or construction noise to help make these everyday sounds no big deal for your dog. Always play these triggering types of videos when home to help coach your bestie through their reactions. Start with a low volume that doesn’t seem to affect your puppy too much, if at all, and build from there. Always pair correction with an appropriate verbal command or encouragement and treat as needed.
Additionally, if your dog has shown to have separation anxiety or developed crate hate there are videos with music to help calm your pup. As pack animals, they’re not always immediately comfortable being left alone. These can be a great tool to utilize as they learn to stay relaxed when by themselves.
What Are the Best Movies to Watch with My Dog?
Choosing a movie to watch on any given night can be difficult! However, picking a film with your dog in mind can narrow the choices to some great options we’ve put together for you right here. Any film that features dogs barking will of course lend itself as a training tool and you may just find a new favorite for everyone to enjoy!