Television for Dogs: Yay or Nay?

Pet Articles Posted on by Richard Hannan

dogs watching tvThose of us who are fortunate enough to have a canine friend tend to adore him or her and will do almost anything for them. Well, American TV company CEO Gilad Neumann has taken that devotion a step further – by creating a doggie TV channel specially for pets with the waggy tail.

Called DogTV, the channel allows owners to switch on the TV for their beloved pet’s sole entertainment while they’re out of the house at work or socialising.

The canine cable service for … dogs

The cable service, which costs $4.99 a month, has been billed as an anxiety cure for housebound canines. Three animal experts were on the production team and the research for programmes is based on more than 40 studies of animal behaviour.

DogTV is aimed at securing the attention of our four legged friends by providing them with content designed to specifically appeal to their eyesight, hearing and interests.

When it comes to colour for instance, the channel compensates for the fact dogs can’t see red and green (they can only see blue and yellow) by accentuating the colour of, for example grass, so that it no longer appears in simply black and white as far as the dog is concerned.

Canine content on cable TV

The overall content on DogTV is specifically designed to ‘improve’ a dog’s tolerance for certain environmental stimuli.

Neumann explains: “We expose dogs to more challenging situations like doorbells, vacuum cleaners, riding in cars, children—things that they tend to be more stressful around.

“With the right volume of content we help them, basically, deal with it better.”

The content is also shot from a dog’s point of view ie long and low while digital TV and high-definition cameras has meant that dogs now see TV images more clearly than when TV was analogue based (which simply showed them a flickering screen). Programmes consists of nature scenes or shots of other dogs sleeping, in a bid to relax the dog at home.

Then there are the images of dogs surfing, running around and playing. The latter is intended to encourage the dog watching the TV to start running round himself and getting involved in some activity (rather than being a day-long couch potato).

High frequency sounds have been removed from all programmes since these can annoy dogs and heavy metal music has also been banned.

Cable channel is company for canines

According to director Nick Dodman of the Animal Behaviour Clinic at Tufts University in Massachusetts, dogs can recognise other dogs on TV and their own breed in particular so the channel may indeed provide entertainment and company for dogs while their owners are out the house. But is there a paws button?

Actually, we’re all for DogTV. We’re just a little on tenterhooks at the moment waiting for the first development of CatTV. Then there’ll be trouble!

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