Yes Your Dog Does Watch TV (And Likes It)
Give Fido the remote, he wants to binge on Game Of Bones, we mean Thrones.
Dog owners -- you're right. If you think your doggo is watching your televisions, computer screens and tablets, it's true.
They're watching. And they like it.
And it gets better. They have taste, too! Not only has research found that domestic dogs like the TV, they also prefer certain images and videos, says an article on Inverse.
Dogs apparently have a preference towards watching other dogs -- naturally -- but studies have also discovered that sound often initially attracts them towards television and other devices.
But of course.
Apparently, if you want your mate to watch the telly, give him dogs barking and whining, people giving dog-friendly commands and praise, and the noise of toys squeaking. A combo of the above would be a blockbuster for your pup.
It's actually fairly common for dogs to react when they see a dog or hear a bark on the television. A study published in the journal Animal Cognition in 2013 found that dogs could identify images of other dogs among pictures of humans and other animals, using their visual sense alone.
Interestingly, because of their vision, what dogs can see on the screen is different to humans. Dogs have what is called dichromatic vision -- this means they have two types of colour receptor cells and see colour within two spectrums of light: blue and yellow -- and their eyes are also more sensitive to movement. In fact, their eyes are so sensitive to flickering that vets suspect the innovation of high-definition television has allowed them to better perceive images on TV.
Dogs, unlike humans, also seem to prefer to glance at the TV rather than focus on it like we do -- no couch potato behaviour or bingeing on Netflix for them. Research has found that even with media specifically designed for dogs (yes there are TV channels for them -- try DogTV for instance, which takes into account their vision and a higher frame rate) they will still spend the majority of their time watching nothing at all (hey, we've been there).
They can also be influenced by what their owner watches, with dogs following their human’s gaze and other communication signals, such as gestures and head turns. Basically, if you look at something on the TV while telling your dog to look at it too, chances are he or she will do just that.
The ideal television show for dogs, therefore, should probably contain lots of snippets of other dogs playing with squeaky toys. And you should watch it with them. Get the popcorn and doggy treats ready.
Feature image: Getty