Can You Pass the Remote?

Dogs watching television.


My son John was a year old, sitting on the couch sucking a milk bottle while watching a children’s French video, when the video ended and he found himself suddenly at the start of a Law and Order episode. My wife didn’t quite realize there had been a transition until she heard John pop the bottle out of his mouth and utter “Uh oh.” By the time she made it to the family room to see what was going on, he had already calmly popped the bottle back into his mouth. But on the TV screen, a woman who had been pushed off the balcony near the top of a tall building was lying dead in a bush.

How John internalized what he saw we’ll never know. Clearly he got that something not good had happened, but to what degree he truly understood what he was watching remains a mystery.

That’s pretty much how it is with dogs and their TV watching. Some dogs really get into it. But what does it all mean to them? Do they know that what they’re seeing on the screen is not real, or do they think the people and animals they’re viewing are in the room, or perhaps being observed through a window? For some insight on the matter.

For those who have been scratching their heads trying to figure out what to buy their dog for the upcoming holiday (come on, we know just about all of you buy your pets Christmas presents).

If you would rather put a coal in your dog’s stocking than buy a gift because you’re sick of his jumping on people — and embarrassed by it — we’ve got the fool-proof method for bringing that behavior to an end. The most important component of the re-training: patience. It could take up to a few weeks. But if you start now, your dog will be well composed by the time your friends and relatives start popping by closer to the end of the month. Check out the strategy on page 4.

Happy tails to you,

Lawrence Lindner

Executive Editor


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