Have you ever noticed that your dog seems to be watching TV? Does he react to some things and not others? Does he even seem to recognize the images on the screen? These are some questions we’ll take a look at in this article. We’ll also discuss how videos can help your canine companion to relax!
Can Dogs See Images on the TV?
According to research conducted by the LEEC and National Veterinary School in Lyon France, dogs are able to see and recognize objects on a television screen. In fact, dogs in the study were able to recognize other dogs on the screen. They were also able to group dogs, humans, etc. in their own ways, recognizing the difference between species. The reason is that dogs are very social individuals that enjoy getting together. Spending time with other dogs makes it necessary to recognize individuals who belong to the same species and a specific group.
During the test, researchers showed pictures of faces from different breeds of dogs, including crossbreeds. The dogs were also shown the faces of other species, including humans. The dogs were shown about 144 pairs of images on the TV screen. The results of the test showed that dogs are able to discern dog faces and group these images into a separate group. The authors of the study said that the dogs were definitely able to tell dogs from other species, even when from images shown on a television. This means that dogs can tell what they’re watching, for the most part. They know a human, a cat, other dogs, etc. when they watch TV!
What About Doggie Channels on TV or YouTube?
There are now many channels on TV, cable, YouTube, etc. that cater especially to dogs. You may be wondering if your fur baby will truly watch the images on these channels. Mostly likely he will, as these are especially designed “shows” for dogs. These shows are created using colors that dogs can see and are shown in a higher number of frames per second than human programming. The reason for the faster speed is that dogs are able to see and process the images faster than humans. Research has also shown that shepherding dogs are prone to watch TV. The reason is because they are geared by moving objects, such as the animals they herd.
Dogs are also attracted to the sounds on the TV. Something that’s sure to get their attention is dogs barking or whining on the screen. Human voices, if they sound friendly, may also capture a dog’s attention. One other thing can grab your dog’s attention is hearing a squeaky toy, especially if that’s one of his favorite toys.
It’s been proven that videos to show your dog can really help him to relax and be calmer. He’ll also enjoy something to look at that’s interesting to him, which will ease his boredom when alone.
Do Dogs Enjoy Watching TV?
It’s hard to tell if dogs really enjoy what they’re watching, so more studies will need to be conducted on this question. However, research has shown that dogs to tend to have a preference when it comes to what they watch. This may depend on their personality but could also be determined by what their pet parents like to watch. One thing research has shown is that dogs seem to have only short interactions with the TV, usually under three seconds. Their attention may be caught by images on the screen, but unlike us, dogs will only glance for a short time, while we tend to focus on the screen for minutes. The best TV shows for dogs, then are those with short snippets instead of story lines.
Is It OK for Dogs to Watch TV?
It can be good for your dog to watch TV; in fact, the many doggie channels and programming could be a great way to help your dog relax. Many veterinarians even recommend it for their doggie patients, as long as the programming is directly aimed at dogs.
The reasons TV programs may help your dogs include:
- Can help him to relax
- Ease boredom and anxiety
- Provide background noise
- Ease noise phobia (noises your dog may be afraid of)
- Ease stress
- Ease destructiveness and other behavioral problems
These are all things your fur baby may experience when left home alone, for example. TV can also help your dog by easing anxiety and fear during a thunderstorm or fireworks. It can also help a puppy or a dog in a new home to relax and calm down.
Won’t my Dog Become Addicted to the TV?
You don’t have to worry that your canine companion will only sit and watch TV. He may glance at it now and then, but it might help him to sleep and stay calm. He won’t become a TV junky or a couch potato, in other words. And hopefully you won’t have to worry about him taking over the remote-control right in the middle of one of your favorite shows! With that said, it’s important that you don’t substitute watching TV or other activities such as exercising your dog, having playtime together, etc. When it comes to the type of doggie programming you choose, be sure to choose something calming when you’re away and your pup’s home alone. Dogs are motivated by motion, so if they notice something like another dog chasing a frisbee, this could stimulate them to become active, too.
Specific Programming for Dogs & Puppies
Just as we have different types of TV programs for adults and children, there’s also different programming for adult dogs and puppies! Yes, there are kiddie shows for the pups! Puppies tend to watch programs that show other puppies, though they may also enjoy shows with other baby animals, etc. Researchers have said that puppy programming can actually be a good thing, as it can help puppies learn to socialize and it will enrich their environment. In addition, dogs of all ages love to watch films of other dogs running and playing, fetching, and otherwise having a fun time.
They’ll also watch videos of people and kids playing and running with their fur babies.
Relaxing Videos for Dogs to Watch
When it comes to finding videos your fur baby will love, there’s no shortage of program available. Via cable, you can try out DogTV. It’s available through services such as:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
DogTV’s soundtracks include sounds that dogs love and can identify. They also include people saying things such as “Good dog,” “Don’t be afraid,” etc. The sounds are created in frequencies that help dogs to relax, and are paired with relaxing music, too. The creators of DogTV did a lot of research to find out what dogs really like. Their videos have been tested on dogs in order to gauge their reactions and find what they most enjoy. While the TV for dogs service is available via a monthly subscription (current $4.99 USD/month), you can also try it free for 14 days. You can also catch some of their material on YouTube, where you’ll find short clips at no cost for your fur baby’s enjoyment.
You can also find movies for dogs to watch YouTube. There are many playlists to choose from including these:
- TV for Dogs! Relaxing Music for Dogs: this video lasts for over 8 hours, so might be a good choice if you’ll be away at work and your fur baby’s home alone.
- Relax my Dog: offers six hours of video to help your dog relax with beautiful, calm music and nature scenes.
- Relax Your Dog TV: this video provides 8 hours of relaxing TV for your fur baby, which includes nature sounds and a babbling brook. One note—if your dog becomes highly energized by the sight of ducks, you may want to avoid this video, unless you’re with him when he watches it!
Videos for Dogs to React To
If you’d like to stimulate your dog, then here are some videos that may get his attention!
- 10 Hours of Sounds Dogs Love: filled with puppy noises, squeaky toys and more, your fur baby is sure to become stimulated while listening to this video. One note, if your dog becomes upset by hearing puppies whine or cry, then it’s best to avoid this video completely.
- Entertainment Videos for Cats & Dogs to Watch: Squirrel & Bird Fun: this is a short, 10-minute video that shows squirrels and birds outside! If your dog loves squirrels, then this might be a good choice to stimulate him a bit!
- DogTV Stimulation: The Dog Park: this is a four-minute sample video of dogs at the dog park. Now, don’t be surprised if your canine companion becomes really excited by this video and brings you his collar and harness. This means he’s ready to get to the dog park ASAP and enjoy some fun!
One word of caution, as noted earlier, you probably don’t want to leave your fur baby unattended when a stimulating video is playing. For instance, don’t play one of these while your dog is home alone. You may just come home to a mess if he becomes overly stimulated!
Videos are Not a Substitute for Companionship
While videos for your dog can be a great asset for you both, they shouldn’t become a substitute for companionship. It’s OK to leave a video on while you’re away from home to keep your fur baby company. Make sure to always spend time with your canine companion when you get back home. Spend time playing, grooming, petting and loving, etc. He needs this much more than a TV program. Your pup loves you and wants to spend time with you, and there’s no substitute in the world that can take your place. Some dog experts do recommend leaving on a video for your pup when you’re away. They also advise using videos as a way to calm down after strenuous exercise such as a long jog or a walk. If they’ve been physically active for a long period, a relaxing video can help them calm down and chill.
We hope this article helps you to get some ideas on the types of videos your dog may enjoy. Just be sure to choose soothing, relaxing videos when he’s home alone. Save the stimulating videos for you both to enjoy together! And remember that videos are never a substitute for your presence, love and attention. Your fur baby will be the happiest when he’s with you, watching videos or playing together.