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Picking The Best TV Programmes To Watch With Your Dog

Picking The Best TV Programmes To Watch With Your Dog

By Mary-Jane Gallagher

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64% of South Africans pick their pets to watch TV with, finding that they make the perfect binge-buddy as there’s no risk of an unwanted spoilers or them watching an episode ahead without you. Humans with dogs are more likely to pick action programmes to watch together, but do dogs actually watch TV or do they provide owners with companionship and comfort while they watch?

Responding To Sounds

If your dog has ever been in the room when a programme or video of another dog is barking, howling or whimpering you’ll probably have noticed that they react to the noise, just as they would if the dog was in the same room. Some dogs will reciprocate the noises, some will whimper in response and others might just watch the screen, possibly a little confused. Dogs are also likely to respond to the sound of toys and familiar commands from the TV. Noise will usually be the first thing that attracts a dog to start watching the television.

Watching The Big Screen

Research has shown that dogs do have a preference on what they enjoy watching on TV and it’s usually other canines. However, dogs watch TV differently to humans as they will often walk up to the screen to investigate, come back to their owners and back to the screen again. Dogs have dichromatic vision, meaning they see within two spectrums of light: blue and yellow. Dogs’ eyes are also more sensitive to movement than humans and it’s believed that high definition, big screens make it easier for dogs to watch TV and make better sense of the images. There’s even a dedicated TV channel for dogs called DogTV that prioritizes blue and yellow spectrum colours to make for easy canine watching.

How Long Do Dogs Watch For?

Studies have been done that track a dog’s face and eye movements when the TV is on to see what they’re looking at and for how long. Dogs are more interested in watching a short clip or looking at a series of images on the screen, rather than long stories that will quickly lose their attention. Research found that dogs will watch a TV for about three seconds at a time before turning away, so you don’t need to worry about your pup becoming a TV addict.

As humans continue to use more technology around the home it’s inevitable that dogs will join in with it. TVs are becoming more advanced, with better definition and bigger screens that make it easier for dogs to watch, and with their own TV channel many owners leave the screen on for them while they’re out. However, it seems this is more for the owner’s comfort, as while dogs do respond to TVs, they’re just as happy staring at nothing.