Your Dogs Watch Television Too

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Can Dogs Watch TV or Not?

It is often believed that even dogs can watch television. But is it true? Can dogs actually watch TV?

Research suggests that dogs have the ability to watch TVs but there are numerous factors that play an important role to get these pets engaged in watching it.

Image Source: National Geographic
Image Source: National Geographic

Factors That Impact Dogs’ Vision

Firstly, animals vary with regard to how many frames they view every second. When it comes to dogs, they are more attracted to modern TVs that generate more frames per second. They watch televisions but at the same time perceive the general world as well. We humans need about sixteen to twenty images per second to perceive and infer a continues movie. However, the same is not implied in the case of dogs. A dog requires seventy images per second.

Secondly, dogs have a dichotomous vision- they have two types of color receptor cells and they see color within two spectrums of light, i.e. blue and yellow. The color combination used in canine TV channels significantly impacts their visual potential. This does not mean that dogs can’t see other colors. Red, yellow and green are perceived as one hue; blue and purple are viewed as the second hue; whereas cyan and magenta are pictured as neutral hue (gray).
The image below portrays the difference between a dog’s view and human view.

Human’s Viewhuman view

Dog’s Viewdog view

When it comes to movements, dogs’ eyes are very sensitive to movements. For example, a study conducted on 14 police dogs suggested that these pets could recognize moving objects more accurately at a distance of 810 to 900 m, but could not recognize the same objects when stationary at a distance of only 585m or less.

Lastly, brightness also plays an important role in making a dog’s vision different from that of a human. For example, certain shades of gray that humans perceive as different are perceived as the same shade by dogs. The image below illustrates this effect by showing a set of rectangles with differing brightness, and the same set with halved relative brightness. Thus, the brightness discrimination of a dog is two times worse than that of humans.

Human’s Viewhuman view1

Dog’s Viewdog view 2

Do Dogs Love Watching Television?

Dogs barking and whining, people giving dog-friendly commands and praises, and the noise of toys are few sounds that fascinates dogs while watching TVs. Ideal television for dogs should include visuals with lots of snippets rather than long storytelling scenarios. On the contrary, dogs hate very short interactions under three seconds. But are they choosy in watching TV visuals? Well, early research has shown that dogs prefer watching a particular channel on a single screen instead of placing several screens. When dogs are provided with multiple screens, they tend to get confused and are unable to decide which one to watch. Apart from this, the type of visuals that dogs love to watch is more of a behavioral concern. Just like humans, even dogs vary in terms of experience, preference, personality and behavioral traits.

Will the growing creative minds be able to come up with a proper DogTV in future? The answer is still mysterious but the advent of information technology will certainly aid developers in creating potential dog channels.

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