Do Dogs Enjoy Watching TV?
Imagine coming from a long day at work, tiring into bed with your snuggle partner, catching up on some shows. Suddenly it strikes your head what interests your dogs in the romcoms or even the thrillers you watch. Do they enjoy it, or they sit there just for you? Can TV entertain them as much as it can entertain a human? If yes, what do they like the best, and if it is a no, then what makes them sit with us.
The very fact that dogs have a channel to themselves proves that they at least do not hate it. Since a dog's sonic senses are way ahead of its visionary senses, it is the sound from the television that captures the dog's attention first. Like most things in their life, Cesar Milan, a dog behaviourist, argues that watching Tv and getting excited about it is one of the many things they have imbibed from their hoomans. Dogs follow the steps of their hoomans in everything; how can they leave behind, in this one? Humans love to watch Tv, so they also learn very early on that Tv is a source of entertainment.
Having said that, if you think, as humans, Tv or technology can replace any human contact for our pooches, then you are wrong. They still have a long way to go in the virtual world. Furthermore, no technology can replace any real connection for our pooches. Tv can never be a dog sitter, it can provide company to a dog for a short period, but dogs are very easily bored. Especially with a dog suffering from Separation Anxiety, Tv can be of no use; all it can do is make matters worse. So, if you rely on Tv to keep up with your dog's need for real connections, you are going the wrong way.
On top of it, in an article from The New York Times, multiple Vets and dog behaviourists sat together to conclude that it is not recommended for dogs to watch Tv at all times of the hour, even if they enjoy it. Going out and playing is any day more advisable than watching Tv. The way you have to monitor screen hours for your little kids, you need to set a limit for them too.
When it comes to self-obsession, dogs have inherited quite right from their hoomans. Through multiple experiments, it has been proven that dogs like to watch one of themselves on Tv; this video is an excellent indicator of this fact. Behavioural scientists claim that this trait of finding dogs, the most exciting thing to watch, goes back to their genealogy as a wolf.
For ages, wild wolves have gathered in the flock, called "Like species-gathering." In the jungles, the same species come together, do daily chores together, herd, interact and hunt together this helps form a community among them. Perhaps, by seeing members of their species, dogs, too, seek that long-lost sense of community.
By now, it must have been clear that, although their cognitive senses have allowed them to perceive what is happening on the screen, they still are inept at making the distinction between the planes.
For them, there is no difference between the reel world and the real world. This happens due to the inability of the animal retina to pick out accurate depth perception of 2-D or 3-D objects. This can be a dangerous thing, for according to an experiment held by Milan, where he rehabilitates dogs in a documentary, he observed that he had to stop his dogs from attacking the screen while watching those scenes in the documentary.
This experiment highlights many issues that must be taken into view if you want your dog to chill as much as you do while watching Tv. The sense of community speaks for itself in the given scenario, and as a pet parent, you do need to supervise and monitor your doggos watching list. Along with this, like you dislike specific genres and channels but love some others, you need to discover it for your dog too. It is not such a difficult thing to observe, for you need to check what can grab them for the longest time. Let us list some for you:
THE CONSTANT ACTION
Dogs love action; they cannot stand the dull, tortoise-like movies. They are, what we call fidgety, interactive viewers. They constantly run to and fro from the pet parent to the Tv screen, partly for the unreal and incomprehensible scenes onscreen and also for restlessness.
All these likings have to be drawn back to a dog's wider "field of view" compared to humans. This more expansive field of view works on two levels, for it sees the pictures presented on the screen faster than usual, and it also escalates the chances to get bored quickly. Sports majorly is not one of the genres that have to do with slow action, so they are inherently drawn. Cartoons, too, intrigue them for their fast pace.
Thus, the rapid change of frames, HDTV gets them more excited.
You can take a dog from the environment, but not the environment from a dog. Dogs have been the inheritors of the natural environment, which no domestication can take away from them. The interdependence of flora and fauna is in-built in them, and since they cannot make a difference between actual and reel, the onscreen landscape makes them one with the environment.
It stimulates the happy hormones in them and also instils a sense of soothing ness in them.
DogTv CEO Gilad Neumann claims that a dog parent or trainer must expose the dog to loud, squeaky sounds. Not only does it prepare the dog for better reaction to situations involving such sounds, but it also works towards calming the nerves in other stressful situations as well. Exposure to sounds like doorbells, vacuum cleaners, riding cars, children are also used as a training method to subdue the jittery nerves.
Conventionally, as mentioned above, dogs have a minimal attention span when it comes to visuals. Still, when a unique sound is incorporated, it helps build suspense or catch the dog's attention.
Music is another such thing where the human-fur bond strengthens. Although strictly how a human's mood depends on their musical preferences, or it completely transforms the already existing moods, canines are wise of the music around them.
Music is another way pet lovers or pet behaviourists use it to measure their anxiousness and agitation, as it helps in quieting them internally. It is called the "white noise" for dogs, for it helps release stress. Recent studies have shown that playing music reduces stress in dogs at animal shelters, with less barking, lower respiratory rates, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
What a piece of sad news it is to know that the very flag bearers of love cannot see the colour of love; red. YES! Dogs are incapable of seeing red, not only red but also green, and colours made with the combination of these two colours. Does this mean that dogs are blind? No.
Dogs have a dichromatic vision; i.e., they only have two types of colour sensory cells; these cells only allow them to perceive blue and yellow colours. Thus, they have an awareness of only half the colour palette of human beings.
So, next time you present a Christmas gift to your pooches, remember their preferences in the colour palette.
Things like sad music, mellow, upsetting sounds are not something dogs love inherently. As mentioned above, dogs are greatly influenced by music. Thus, their lively, high spirited self is not particularly drawn toward sad music. They could be trained to work with them, but they do not like it as a species.
Although we have mentioned that they love action, that action does not mean the action we usually experience in aggressive movies. They do not enjoy anger, agitation or aggressive on screen presentation. Instead, they are low-key light humour lovers!
Some channels make the specific alteration of all these traits to build a hub for dogs. The liking mentioned above and disliking are generic; that is to say, they pertain to every dog possible. But, as all humans do not have a universal inclination towards a single genre, similarly, the preferences change from dog-to-dog.
For example, Hounds as a species do not like to watch Tv at all, for they smell to interact with the environment rather than use their visual or sonic senses.
Whatever interests them and captures their attention for the longest remains a mystery to dog trainers, behaviourists and vets. The entertainment garnered is guaranteed, but the kind of content and its quality preference are still topics that need much more exploration. Look no further for food and other dog accessories; all the exploration is done by pet stores online.