Oakley, my 10-year-old Pekingese mix rescue pup is basically perfect. She’s just the right size for my house. She loves to sleep in. And she could teach a clinic on cuddling. There’s just one problem…she barks relentlessly at the TV. There could be a cartoon dog silently in the background of a Simpsons episode, and this pup will blitz toward the screen jumping on her hind legs in attack mode.
Over the years, we’ve tried some half-assed attempts to quell the issue, but ultimately conceded to her barking. Sure, it was really, really annoying, but it wasn’t harmful. That was, until the behavior transferred from dogs to Elmo. “Just turn off Elmo then!” you might say. We wish we could turn off Elmo, but Elmo is our 2-year-old’s current obsession. Elmo is there for us when we need 20 minutes to prep dinner or respond to emails. We need Elmo. But Oakley’s barking at the furry red monster has made our virtual babysitter into an unbearable display of sonic aggression.
Whelp, as I’ve learned with a recent DIY plumbing project, sometimes it’s best to outsource. This time, I reached out to expert dog trainer Andrea Arden. Here’s what she told me.