On watching action movies with sensitive dogs

Last movie night I was looking forward to watching Terminator Genesis. I had the whole evening booked off and was curled up with four pillows and Milo. (No snacks or drink though, you’ll see why in a moment.) Lovely evening right?terminator pic

Wrong. I am a bit of a goof when comes to suspense and action movies. This is probably why I love them. When things are scary I hold my breath and get twitchy. When things are surprising I yell. I’ve been known to jump out of my seat and toss my popcorn over my shoulder (hence the lack of snacks and drink on this evening). Tense, jumpy, twitching, and yelling–not a good way to be when you are the guardian of a recovering reactive GSD.

Movie night was no exception. I held my breath and Milo’s head came up and he started scanning the room. I twitched and he jumped to his feet. I yelled and he was off, pacing through the house, searching for the evil. He was going to find it and end it.

It took some work to get him calm and happy again.

  • I had to call him to me and softly sooth him: “There, there, baby, there, there.”
  • We did some easy obedience to calm his mind: Sit, stand, down, sit, down, stand, down, sit.
  • We did some difficult obedience to refocus his attention. He practiced cleaning up his toys.
  • After that it was a treat and a cuddle and we were good to go watch Gilmore Girls.

So, I have more action movie watching constraints. No snacks, no drinks, and Milo gets a bone to chew on in the other room.

This was a good reminder, you need to stay on top of your state of mind when you’re with a sensitive dog.


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