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Should Your Dog Watch TV?

Updated on July 3, 2012
Zeus takes a break from playing to watch DOGTV!
Zeus takes a break from playing to watch DOGTV!

Have you ever come home to find an upside down mess?

The trash ripped open and spread around, a dish knocked off the counter, or even a door made of solid wood chewed to grainy bits? And shamefully hiding in the shadows, as you survey the damage, is a guilty dog. If so, the experts from DOGTV are blaming it on the stress dogs face when left alone all day. In order to combat this, the television company is promising that their nonstop dog programming will relax your animal enough to deter naughty behavior. The idea behind this? Pets who are bored and isolated, just like us humans, become depressed, bored, and then consequently act out.

The program doesn’t just promise to keep your pets from feeling lonely, anxious and mischievous- it also promotes good behavior by showing positive reinforcements the dogs can understand. To achieve all of this, DOGTV runs three different types of TV.

  • Relaxation TV: With soothing sounds, visuals, and music dogs will feel a reduction in stress at the onset of this portion. Watching it myself, I felt that “ah” feeling usually reserved for a blissful massage or day on the beach.
  • Stimulation TV: A dog fetches a Frisbee, another runs a ball back to his owner. “Good boy, good,” a woman praises. While reinforcing positive behavior, these segments are also designed to encourage sedentary dogs to get up and play.
  • Exposure TV: Perhaps the most scientific of the three, this portion uses high-tech veterinary science to create sounds and visuals that help calm dogs down... in the future! The screen pans from a busy street with sirens to a house where a baby plays with blocks- every scene is made complete with new and adorable dogs! These scenes are meant to expose dogs to day-to-day activity, reducing stress when they personally encounter the scenario later.

Leaving the television on for your dog can seem rather over-indulgent- especially when we are supposed to be conserving power. But experts argue this is not the case, advocating DOGTV as a necessity for anyone gone all day but still wanting well-stimulated, happy pets.

Using my own three dogs as lab rats, I turned on DOGTV and waited for their response. Just as the company warns, my dogs were instantly excited- perking up to watch the scenes unfold. Although they have been caught watching TV in the past, especially when another pet is on cam, this was the most intrigued I’ve seen them.

One might ask, so can’t my dog just watch any channel? Say, the Animal Planet? Interestingly enough, dogs don’t see or hear things the same as we humans do. DOGTV puts dogs first; the images are specially colored so that dogs can interpret what they are. The sound is also modified for their ultra-sensitive hearing.

Yet, without the advancements of human-technology, DOGTV would never be possible. Dog’s eyes filter images at a much different rate than humans, until advancements with 100hz plus televisions, watching the screen was a flicker nightmare for any creature on four legs!

Experts on Board

Victoria Stilwell might not be a household name but her appearance and thick accent are highly recognizable as she’s one of the most famous dog trainers on TV. Having transformed the behaviors of many dogs on air, she is trusted by many as an advocate for DOGTV.

As a prominent radio host, animal rights activist, author, and trainer, Warren Eckstein has been referred to as the “most trusted pet expert.” He is a major contributor to the ingenious ideas behind DOGTV. He argues that dogs don’t live out in the woods; they live in our homes, in our environments. Just as we’ve changed and adapted into the modern world, watching television instead of hunting and gathering, so too have our pets.

Known as the worlds most celebrated veterinary behaviorists, Professor Nicholas Dodman, is also a part of DOGTV. Residing as chief scientist on board, he is a highly trained expert in the sensory perceptions of our pets.

The Humane Society of the United States recognizes DOGTV as a way to improve animal life-quality. Standing alongside this well recognized brand is, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

The best judge of any product is always the direct consumer. And as for my own dogs, a few days into their DOGTV life they are still staying out of trouble and happy as clowns!

My cats wonder when they will get CAT TV!
My cats wonder when they will get CAT TV!

Don't want to hassle with changing your cable subscription? Try these options instead!


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    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      My dog went blind nearly two years ago (after my initial comment to this hub), so she can't see TV or a video. However, she seems more nervous about being left alone, so I bought the "Through a Dog's Ear" CD and play it on a loop whenever I have to be gone for a couple of hours. It keeps her relaxed. I highly recommend it.

    • profile image

      Youcef 2 years ago

      Hello. I wanted to drop you a fast note to be able to coveny my best thanks. I have recently been following your webpage for a month or so and have picked out up a load of very good tips as well as liked the way you have organized your own web-site. I am trying to run my personal weblog but I think it is too general and also I would like to concentrate more on more compact subjects. Being all things to all people is not all that its cracked up to be.

    • beaddve1800 profile image

      beaddve1800 5 years ago from Toronto

      I know there is a new tv channel called dogTV and it is all about dog..

      Even me, I can't keep my eyes off to that channel. :))))

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thanks Mary :) You sound like a good mother to your pups- I know how they like those treats !!! Can't wait to stop by and read about your sweet little darlings!

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      hahaha oh Randy!!! It's called LIFETIME TV!!!! :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Very interesting! Something to look into. Now if they can come up with WIFETV to train unruly brides, I'll really be excited!


    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I truly enjoyed reading this Hub. I am a dog lover, and I have a miniature schnauzer named Baby, and a Shih Tzu named Bailey. I have written Hubs about them. When you can spare the time, check them out!

      I don't have a problem with my doggies getting into trouble when I go out, they just look forward to my coming home because I give each one a treat.

      I'd love to see the shows you mention. I've never seen my dogs watch TV, but they might enjoy these shows.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc. and I will share.

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      I was fascinated when I learned that about their eyes as well! Thanks Pamela, glad you enjoyed!

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This was very interesting and informative. I didn't know dogs' eyes filter images at a different speed or rate than humans. I didn't know a lot of things in this hub until I read them. Voting up.

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      The MGM lion scares her! I don't know if that's more adorable or the fact you turn it down for her every time now :) I had a neighbor who like you left the TV on when she left, only she did so for her bird! He loved it so much that he developed a favorite show- The Andy Griffin Show actually- and everyday around the time it came on he'd start whistling the theme song. Animals are so amazing and so much smarter than we give them credit for!

      Glad to know others out there are putting their pets at top importance like you, JayeWisdom!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I don't have cable TV, so I won't have access to DOG-TV (not that my local cable company is likely to have it on their lineup). However, my dog lies on the sofa beside me if I watch something from Netflix or a DVD, and there are times she pays attention to the screen. (I have noticed that she doesn't like the roaring of the MGM lion at the beginning of a movie, so I mute the sound until the beast gets quiet.)

      I'm home with my dog most of the time, since I'm retired. However, when I have to go out, I either leave the TV set on the PBS channel (which I get without cable service) or leave the radio on with easy listening music and the sound turned medium low...because it is the sound that keeps her company while I'm gone. This reduces the possibility of separation anxiety.

      DOG-TV sounds like an innovative (and needed) service for people with dogs. If I could get it without cable, my dog would get to watch it!


    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thanks mindyjgirl! Glad you enjoyed :)

    • mindyjgirl profile image

      Mindy 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, Oregon

      Useful!!! Two thumbs up :)