What Does Your Dog See When He Watches TV?
Does your dog like to stare at the TV to check out what’s going on while you’re watching your favorite shows? Have you ever wondered what he’s really seeing, and if it’s the same as what you see?
Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK wanted to answer these questions, and what they concluded is that canines actually prefer certain videos and images over others.
Dogs Like Watching Other Dogs
It turns out that dogs prefer to watch other dogs on television, but studies also found that sounds entice canines to investigate what’s on TV. In particular, the sounds of people giving praise or commands to their dogs, the sounds of canines whining or barking, and the sounds of pet toys will get a pooch’s attention.
Also, dogs typically only watch TV for three seconds or less. Therefore, snippets, rather than long stories, are preferred. They’ll just glance at the screen and then do something else, even if the TV is showcasing a program designed for canines.
In addition to having a short attention span, you’ve probably noticed that, rather than taking a seat on the couch with you to watch TV, your pooch will walk closer to the screen when something interesting comes on. He may also repeatedly move from the TV to wherever you’re sitting, exhibiting fidgety behavior.
What Do They Really See?
What your dog sees on TV is different from what you see. This is because canines have dichromatic vision, and they can only see color within the yellow and blue spectrums of light (DogTV knows this, so they prioritize those colors).
Also, your dog’s vision is highly sensitive to the movements of characters on the screen. It’s believed that the better flicker rate found on HD television has made it easier for dogs to view those dynamic images.
Genuine Interest or Fleeting Fascination?
Are dogs actually interested in what they’re watching, or are they just fascinated by the movements on TV? Researchers tried to answer this question by presenting dogs with three TV screens to choose from.
What they found is that dogs typically can’t decide which screen to watch, so they’ll usually just watch one of the TVs, regardless of what’s displayed. Therefore, even though researchers have noted that dogs do prefer certain shows, such as the ones focused on fellow canines, the question of whether or not they actually enjoy TV still remains.
This question becomes more difficult to answer when you consider the fact that what a dog likes to watch will also depend upon factors like his experience and personality. Different dogs are engaged by different TV programs, and their decisions might be even influenced by what their owners are watching.
Although studies have shed a lot of light on this topic, many questions remain regarding dogs and their TV watching habits. However, using your TV to entertain your pooch while you aren’t home is an option to help prevent loneliness and boredom.
[Source: The Conversation]
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
More by Lisa Selvaggio