You're trying to relax and watch your show, but your dog loses their cool every time there's an animal on the screen. Barking and making a fuss, and oh boy, thank doG for the ability to rewind television!
We can make it easy by preventing the issue in the following ways:
- Grab a stuffed Kong from the freezer and give it to your dog in a covered crate or in another room while you watch your show
- Use bluetooth ear buds to watch your show (this is great if your dog is audibly triggered by the sounds of the animals vs the sight of them)
- Use a Calming Cap to "mute" your dog's vision of the screen while your show is on
- Keep them busy with a food puzzle so they're not engaged with the show
- Watch the show on your laptop so your dog doesn't get HD vision and sound from the 75" flatscreen above your fireplace
When you have time/energy to train, arm yourself with the best little snacks and sit with your dog and the remote.
- Implement a "Bark Bonus" protocol where every bark (or animal noise) means you feed your dog a treat, no questions asked, no contingencies, no quiet requirement.
- Copy that exercise, but instead of the sounds being a trigger for food happening, make it more like the "Look at That" game where you mark and feed every time your dog notices an animal on TV.
- Have your dog on leash before you start your show and then issue a "Time-Out" for barking at the TV, where you pause the show and leave the room with your dog for 15-30 seconds and return, OR, you place your dog in another room for 15-30 seconds alone, then try again.
I would work through these strategies in the order described above - we always want to start by training our dogs to do what we want them to do, rather than punishing them for what we don't want to see. The Time-Out Protocol should only be used as a last resort after you've spent a week on Bark Bonus and/or Look at That consistently.