Have you ever noticed your dog reacting to the TV? If you have, you have probably noticed as well that the reaction is usually triggered by a specific sound or a sudden image.
Some dogs bark when other dogs bark in the screen, some jump in front of the TV when an animal appears, others get excited during a tennis match if they are tennis balls’ fans, others hide when they hear gunshots and others couldn’t care less that the TV is even on.
READ MORE: DO OUR DOGS REALLY SEE TV?
It’s kind of hard to standardize when there are so many different reactions. And forget the TV, there are still many unsolved questions regarding dogs’ vision. Several studies try to explain their vision, but additional ones are still required before any definitive conclusions.
There are some things we do know that can help understand their reaction to the TV, the computer or any screen with a moving image.
There are two color sensitive cones in dogs’ retina, which gives them at least, an anatomical potential for color vision. It is believed that their visible spectrum is divided into 2 hues: one in the violet-blue range (which may be seen as blue in dogs) and one in the greenish-yellow and red range (which may be seen as yellow).
We also know that dogs’ eyes are more sensitive to movement, and for them to see a moving picture rather than a flickering image on a screen, the flicker fusion frequency has to be higher. That’s why they probably react to high definition television that has a higher flicker rate.
Some studies also try to point out the “preferences” of images and videos dogs seem to have; like watching other dogs and listening to the sound of barking and whining, people praising and giving friendly commands and the noise of toys squeaking.
DogTV takes this into consideration when creating TV programs for dogs. There is a predominance of blue and yellow colors, the flicker rate is higher and the programs follow the “preferences” dogs seem to have. Plus, they are filmed from the dog’s point of view.
However, the research on dog TV is still limited. So far it is pretty standardized and there are many differences in breeds as regards to their particular vision, even more so than between humans. With dogs there are anatomical differences that already make their vision completely different from one another.
Our current understanding of dogs’ vision is still not complete, we can only partially understand it “by describing the visual acuity of dogs, their abilities to detect light or color, or the features of other individual parameters, but the complete visual experience is a synthesis of all of these constituent parts into a unified perception of the world”.
That’s why creating visual entertainment for them is more complicated than it sounds. We don’t even know if they enjoy it.
Not all dogs react to TV and some react with fear or stress. And the so called “preferences” actually vary from dog to dog according to their experiences. One image of a dog may be exciting for some dogs but stressful for others if they are smaller or fearful, for example.
When watching TV dogs are not passive viewers like humans, but more interactive ones. They approach the screen, they move back and forward, they may even jump. Probably that led to the idea that they enjoy it, and dog TV was born.
But what is exactly the point of having DogTV?
A few positive outcomes are that it has helped some dogs calm down under stressful situations like fireworks, that it can help relax dogs in shelters that spend too much time in kennels, and that it can help nervous dogs to relax while they are alone at home.
However, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Exposing our dogs to TV for several hours a day makes no sense. If they are energetic and nervous, it’s always better to take them for long walks, play with them or give them mental challenging games to entertain themselves while they are alone.
What is your experience with your dog? Does he/she watch and enjoy TV?
Tell us all about it and let us know what do you think about DogTV.
We want to hear from you!