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Dog very hypersensitive to TV programmes

(2 Posts)
Lougle Mon 13-Dec-10 23:44:47

We have a Westie, who is lovely, but was beaten up by children in his old home. We took him on 6 years ago, at 2.5 years old. He is lovely, very obedient, a bit headshy, even now, and won't allow paw holding unless he is sure you don't have a hand free to clip his nails, or something.

He isn't overly keen on children, due to his history, but is very tolerant of our 3 children (5, 3 & 1). We are always careful to supervise closely, teach the children to stroke gently and tell them when he has 'had enough'.

The children like C Beebies. Over the last year or so, our dog has taken a dislike to 'Mr Maker'. At first, we could mute the tv when it came on, and as long as he didn't hear the music, he was fine.

After a month or two, he started to recognise Mr Maker's face, and as soon as he saw him, he went wild, barking & jumping at the TV.

Then, he moved on to include 'the birthday song' in the 'dislike pile' and reacted similarly. The two programmes are close together, so we could just mute it then.

Soon after, he started to recognise the birthday cards, and whenever he sees them, he barks and jumps at the TV.

Lately, he has added sections of 'Chuggington' to his selection, and even 'The Octonaughts'.

It sounds bizarre, but it is obviously distressing for him, and noisy for us.

We have taken to having the TV on less, and when it is on turning it very low volume. We have also found another channel the children can all cope with (DD1 has SN and is very sensitive to any programmes with deep music, so CBBC would be a no-go, for eg).

However, if the TV is switched to CBeebies for any reason, our dog reacts just as badly as if we have it on 24 hours each day.

Does anyone have any tips? I read about dogs getting the opposite effect of reassurance when they a 'reassured' during barking (ie. they get the message that there really was something to worry about). Is that what is going on here? If so, what can I do about it??

minimu1 Tue 14-Dec-10 15:12:37

I would just put him in another room when cbeebies is on - I may join him there too!

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