Dog petrified of tv

I have a nervous dog. Suddenly she is petrified of the tv. If it is on it’s like she is desperate to get away from it and can’t be restrained. She is normally food motivated but can’t eat if the tv is on.
What’s the protocol for this type of severe phobia? Has anyone had success overcoming something like this? It seems very similar to the thunderstorm anxiety that a lot of people have to resort to meds for, but with this being a more regular occurrence I really don’t want to.

Has something changed with the TV? Was she okay with it before but not now? Is she okay with it when it is off? I’m wondering if it is making a sound that is only audible to her but not to you…

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The trying to get away from it so desperately seems new. Honestly I hadn’t had a chance to watch much until recently, so perhaps she just wasn’t given enough exposure to it.
It definitely seems like it might be something to do with it like the light or the sound?

Get a Thunder Shirt. They’re just for this type situation. Fireworks too. I was a skeptic til I bought one for a new nervous rescue and IT REALLY WORKED.

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Does what you are viewing make any difference?

For example, Fox news with Jeanine Pirro and guests yelling and talking over each other versus Judy Woodruff doing a calm conversational interview on PBS?

Or, any show on with the its sound muted versus the same show with the sound on?

It may be just a dog’s reaction to hearing human conflict, and being worried for you.


I’d scale back to level one and baby step forward. I’d leave the TV on mute until she is completely comfortable and only then to volume 1, 2, 3, 4…

While reacclimatizing her to the TV I’d be inclined to try PBS or a similar channel that tends to have soothing tones without a lot of loud sounds, yelling, etc.

Does she have any negative response to the radio or a podcast playing on your phone/computer?


No that’s the interesting thing. None at all.

I’ve been analyzing it and I think maybe she’s been spooked by my other dog barking at dogs on the tv. I’m thinking I’ll start with it on mute and the other dog contained in another area.

This dog is so sensitive. I’ve taken her to training but she’s even been traumatized there by dogs in crates barking at her.

It’s so sad to see her so scared.

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Seems easiest to just turn the tv off when she is eating. Or maybe feed her in another room where she can’t hear the tv at all.

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Oh definitely. It’s more that if I turn it on at any time, she kind of becomes panicked kind of like thunderstorm anxiety - panting, etcz

How old is she?
My 16yo cat has never “liked” the TV, but in the past couple of years she has seemed more scared of it than ever before. Her hearing and eyesight seem as good as ever, as is her mind, but I wonder if there has been some mental change going on that the TV just affects.

Where is your TV located? On a low stand, or up on the wall, or where? Mine is on a low stand now and I wonder if it would affect my kitty less if it were mounted high on the wall.

Maybe she doesn’t like what your watching?