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How to Teach Your Dog to Watch DOGTV

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Small brown dog sitting on a couch.

This article originally appeared on DOGTV. It has been republished for exclusive use by The Grey Muzzle Organization with permission by DOGTV and guest writer Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is sharing tips to teach your dog to watch television and DOGTV programming.

As we wrap up How To Train Your Dog Month (January) and we continue our series on audio visual enrichment for our dogs, we want to share tips on how to get your dog to watch DOGTV.

The way dogs watch television is different than the way humans do. When we sit down to watch a program, and it’s one we like, our attention is raptly held by the images on the screen as well as the story unfolding before us. Our dogs benefit from the audio visual programming that DOGTV provides, but he may not curl up on the couch and stare at the screen.

Dogs benefit from both the audio and the visual enrichment DOGTV programming offers whether he is watching the images on the screen or lying up in his favorite spot on the couch listening to what’s going on. 

Whether you’ve made the investment in a DOGTV subscription or are starting your free DOGTV trial, there are ways in which you and your dog(s) can bond over the scientifically-developed programming DOGTV provides.

Watch Together

Turn on the programming and call your dog over to the couch to sit and watch with you. Pet him while he’s on your lap and make watching DOGTV an experience he equates with “spending time with my favorite human!” You can talk softly to him, scratch him behind the ears or rub his belly while DOGTV plays in the background.

He may look up and take notice of the dogs and images on the screen or he may consider DOGTV a soothing background noise while he gets quality snuggle time with you.

Background Sounds

If you’re working at your home office or are in the kitchen preparing dinner, reading a book in another room or involved in an activity that your dog isn’t sharing with you, turn on DOGTV when you leave the room. Call your dog in and show her the screen and turn the television up to a level that catches her attention, but isn’t too loud for her sensitive ears.

Give her her favorite toy or treat when you leave the room and she will equate the sounds and sights of DOGTV programming with a pleasant experience — her toy or a treat!

When you turn on DOGTV when you’re home, your dog won’t equate the programming with, “Mom and dad are leaving me home alone!” He will come to enjoy the programming and it won’t be something he knows only plays when he will be alone.

Separation Anxiety Reliever

Imagine how you’d feel if you were in a silent home all day. Every noise you heard from outside might set your nerves on edge. Imagine now that you’re in a crate, like your dog is. He loves his crate, but his natural instinct is to “protect” you from those sounds that he can’t identify.

DOGTV programming is a pleasant distraction for your crated dog. He can listen to the sounds and even watch the programming and it will help him with his separation anxiety because he won’t feel alone in a silent house.

Even if your dog isn’t crated. The sounds of DOGTV programming may distract him from unfamiliar sounds outside and may calm his propensity to bark at the unfamiliar sounds. If you have neighbors who live close by, they will probably thank you if your dog isn’t barking all day long.

The programming that DOGTV provides soothes and relaxes your dog whether she stares at the screen or is listening to it in the background.

What steps do you take to alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety and to enrich his audio and visual environment?

DOGTV and Grey Muzzle logos
Grey Muzzle supporters can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of DOGTV by using code GreyMuzzle. If you decide to subscribe, Grey Muzzle receives $10 per subscription. Also, shelter and rescue operators--Consider playing DOGTV for the pets in your care. The programming may just help soothe them and entertain them while they wait for their forever homes! Visit DOGTV.com to start your free trial today!