Posted Mar 9, 2018 in Dog Questions
You’ve probably caught your dog spending a little too much time watching the television. Sometimes our dogs appear to be paying attention and reacting to what is on the TV. Many pet parents even leave their TV to entertain their dogs while they’re gone for the day. While it may seem crazy, our dogs actually can perceive what is on the screen during a show. Most specifically, dogs can tell when there is another dog on the TV or they hear barking! Our dogs are probably smarter than we think!
There have actually been studies done to shown what our dogs can and can’t recognize visually. In a 2013 study, it was proven that dogs can identify images of other dogs. They were able to prove this because dogs were able to pick out fellow dogs in images containing humans and other animals. Dogs in the study were able to indicate the shape and visuals of a dog and know it was a four legged friend.
While our dogs can understand what is on the TV, they do have a different grasp than us. Dogs eyes register visual images faster than our eyes do. This means that when a TV show is older and has fewer frames per second, to them the TV is flickering. Dogs also see colors differently than us. While it is a misconception that dogs are completely colorblind, they actually can only see yellow and blue. This is called dichromatic vision, while we have trichromatic, allowing us to see all of the three primary colors.
Because dogs do see TV differently than us, there have been TV channels and programming made specifically for pups. DogTV, an HDTV channel, is designed for dogs because of the higher number of frames per second. It is also specifically created for the way dogs see color. DogTV makes programs and shows that interest dogs, with different shows for different moods. If your dog gets stressed when you leave, turn on the relaxation show, which has images of dogs in grassy fields and doing other calming things. There are also stimulation and exposure shows, which are meant to improve your dog’s engagement or teach them behavior skills!
At the end of the day, every dog reacts differently to TV based on their personality or breed. Some may love to sit and watch, while others may not like it or get jealous when they see other dogs on the TV. If your dog is more territorial, they may not like having another “dog” in their living room. Some may just be bored by it and walk away without really caring!
In general, your dog may be watching the TV when you have it on, but just like us, they may not be fully paying attention. If you notice your dog loving the TV, go ahead and leave it on! It won’t hurt them at all.
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