On one lazy afternoon you are reclining on the sofa and watching a nature show. The next thing you notice is your dog coming over and appearing greatly absorbed by the TV show. He/she may bark randomly when a canine figure runs across the screen. In another instance, you observe a neighbour’s dog having no fascination for their TV. You wonder why there is a difference between the two dogs in terms of their fondness for television. We investigate…
The rate of ‘flickering’ on the TV screen can be a potential factor over whether your dog is wanting to watch TV. Human vision differs to dogs with our sensitivity to flickering light. When a light is flickering at a fast rate, it would appear to the eye as a constant stream of light. For humans, we can detect flickering of light up to 50 Hz in most people. On the other hand, dogs are capable of seeing lights flickering at a quicker pace (around 80 Hz). Older TVs have a screen refresh rate of only 60 times per second which would mean the screen would continue to ‘flicker’ when dogs watched it. We know that this would be a huge annoyance for humans, and we can imagine that dogs would feel the same way. If you own a TV that is more than a few years old, you would probably notice your dog being less keen to give the TV his/her attention. Nowadays, recent TVs have screens with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz. Therefore, you may notice that your dog is taking more of a notice of the TV than before! The screen refresh rate is no longer a bother for them. Convenience!
The position and contents of the TV could also affect whether your dog is becoming a TV buff. If the TV is positioned on a table or at human eye level, your dogs will have to look up constantly. Not exactly comfortable for them. Best to place the TV closer to the floor to gauge your dog’s interest. The television program featured should be shot at a dog’s eye level and the content be appealing to dogs (i.e. animals or nature show). Although, you may think that cartoon canines will elicit a reaction from your dog. This is not necessarily the case as dogs may see the animated figure moving across the screen but the pattern of movement differ to a live animal. Your dog may merely perceive something or someone wondering about on the screen, but they do not consider it akin to a dog or another animal.
We are genuinely interested to know if your cherished pooch enjoys watching TV with you. Or is your dog not at all a fan? Let us know in the comments section.