Have you ever watched a movie and then noticed your dog seemingly being so deeply focused? He can’t move his look from the TV and it seems as if he is all in. When that happens you can’t help but wonder — Can dogs watch TV the way we do? Or what are they seeing when we have our favorite shows and movies on? Well, it seems as if scientists have come to some pretty interesting discoveries.
Some research was actually done pretty recently on domestic dogs tracking their vision while watching TV. The group of dogs was pretty small however, so it has to be taken with a grain of salt. However, the results indicated that dogs enjoy watching other dogs on TV, but also that they are attracted to the sounds coming from your television. Their favorite sounds were, unsurprisingly, the barking and whining of other dogs. But also sounds such as people giving friendly dog commands and praise, and also different noises of squeaky toys. However, that doesn’t mean that dogs don’t enjoy non-dog related television content.
Do dogs watch television?
The short answer would be – yes, but not how we know it. The way our dogs see the pictures on television is actually very different from what we see.
First of all, let’s take a step back and remember the basics. In case you somehow didn’t know — dogs have a completely different vision than humans. Their vision isn’t nearly as clear as ours and they also can’t see all of the colors that we do. Dogs have dichromatic vision, which basically means that they only see shades of blue/violet and yellow. However, they can’t really see green, red or orange. This explains why canine TV channels (Yes, they do exist!) prioritises these colours in their programming. Their eyes are also more sensitive to movement, that’s why high definition television has allowed dogs to better perceive media shown on TV. If you are interested to learn more about how dogs see the world — click here.
How do dogs watch television?
Second of all, the way our dogs can watch TV is very different from the way that we do. You most likely enjoy watching TV by just relaxing on the couch without any movement being involved at all. However, our dogs like to approach the TV screen and take a closer look at the different pictures and movements. They also like to repeatedly walk between their owners and the television during the watch time. While we humans are more passive while watching TV, dogs are more interactive TV viewers.
But that is only if something on the TV caught the attention of your canine. Our pups are pretty much used to strange sound from devices from early on. Chances are that your pup grew up with you having the TV on, so his attention will be drawn to it only in rare occasions. Most commonly if he hears dog sounds, dog related sound or other animal sounds coming from it.
Do dogs enjoy watching television?
The shortest possible answer would be — maybe?! Science has proven that dogs can in fact engage with television. And not only that, but dogs even prefer some specific channels. However, it still has to be proven whether dogs actually enjoy watching TV. Unfortunately, our pups can’t simply tell us if they like a TV show or not.
What is known is that dogs prefer to have short interactions with the TV. They don’t enjoy looking at it for hours, but instead only glance at it for a couple of seconds. The ideal TV show for dogs, therefore, should contain lots of snippets rather than long storytelling scenarios. That’s what most dog TV channels base their content on.
There is still research being done on this topic, but until the results are official, know that it won’t hurt your dog if he watches TV with you from time to time.