Do you ever wonder if your dog actually watches TV?
Can they understand what’s going on?
Do they like what see?
How can you get them to watch TV with you?
In this guide, you’ll find the answers…
Let’s get started.
So, Do Dogs Watch TV?
Dogs do, in fact, watch TV.
However, they don’t necessarily watch it in the same way or for the same reasons that humans do.
Dogs not only see images very differently compared to humans… but they also react to the programs differently.
Of course, dogs don’t understand the different storylines, but they are attracted to familiar stimuli such as other dogs, squirrels, or birds.
A dog may be enticed by the sounds, perhaps barking or whining, or movement occurring in a show or movie.
But what a dog actually sees depends on the quality of the TV and, in some cases, the dog’s breed.
Why Do Some Dogs Watch TV?
Just as some humans aren’t particularly keen on watching TV, some dogs simply have other preferences.
In other words, if you have a dog that is naturally non-reactive, odds are they won’t react to what’s happening on the TV screen either.
Some dogs aren’t drawn to watching TV because some breeds are more sensitive to smell than visual stimuli.
Additionally, dogs with vision problems may not be able to perceive what’s happening on the TV, even with the newer TV technology.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of factors that go into why some dogs watch TV while others don’t.
What Do Dogs Like To Watch on TV?
Dogs will like watching on TV what they would typically react to in day-to-day life.
This can be dogs playing, squirrels running around, howling, doorbells, and really just anything that is familiar to them!
In fact: Pet food brands often utilize popular stimuli to not only get the owner’s attention but also entice the pup.
Dogs don’t really need shows with intricate storylines and high production costs.
Instead, it’s really the familiar movements and sounds they’re reacting to.
Alternatively, some dogs find comfort in having the TV on while their owner is away.
This is because it creates a similar atmosphere to when their owner is home. If the owners typically have cartoons running all day, leaving them on creates the same environment as if someone were home.
YouTube channels or TV programs dedicated to creating pet-friendly content often advertise their streaming services as a handy tool for dogs with separation anxiety… because of the program’s ability to incorporate familiar and calming stimuli.
What Do Dogs See When They Watch TV?
Dogs don’t perceive the images on the TV in the same way humans do.
Rather than seeing everything in crisp detail, many dogs see what would look like blurry images and muted colors to the human eye.
Dogs have dichromatic vision which means they can only see blues and yellows.
The dog eye processes images very quickly, so to recognize images on the TV, the TV has to have a high rate of frames per second.
Newer TVs typically have a high rate of frames per second… which is why dogs are becoming more enticed by what’s happening on screen.
The images now appear fluid, and dogs can recognize the familiar sights. On the other hand, if the quality is too low, then your dog will only see moving lights.
Are Dogs That Watch TV Smarter?
There are many factors that go into determining if a dog will watch TV.
In many cases, it comes down to the dog’s personal preference.
Just as some people enjoy reading a book over watching a movie, many dogs are simply intrigued by different things.
Many factors go into a dog’s susceptibility to react to the TV, so it’s not a good measure of a dog’s intelligence.
Just like some dogs like carrots and others don’t… the act of watching TV is another reflection of a dog’s personal preference.
How Can I Get My Dog To Watch TV?
Cuddling with your dog in front of the TV is not only a great way to bond with your furry friend, but it is also a good way to encourage your dog to watch TV!
Dogs will naturally get excited about any activity that allows them to spend time with you.
If they’re not immediately intrigued by what’s going on in the show, try watching something else to see what your dog responds to. You can also play programs specifically made for dogs. This can be through your TV provider or streamed on YouTube.
The best way to get your dog to watch TV is to incorporate programs that have a ton of things your dog normally reacts to.
If your dog likes to play fetch, sports programs can be really enticing for them to watch.
If your dog can spend hours looking out the window at all the different critters, consider turning on a wildlife program.
What Breeds of Dogs Watch TV?
In general, all dog breeds are capable of watching TV and enjoying it.
The ones that will most often be drawn to watching TV are herding or hunting dog breeds… because they are naturally drawn to movement.
For example: An Australian Shepherd is more likely to actively watch the screen compared to a Beagle or Basset Hound.
Terrier breeds typically enjoy TV as the movements are more in tune with their natural instincts. After all, they’re bred to pick up on small movements.
Hound dogs, or any dog specifically known for its scent-drive, tend to not be intrigued by TV since it doesn’t incorporate the stimuli that excite them.
Can Dogs See Phone Screens?
Dogs can see phone screens but, just like with televisions, it all depends on the screen quality to determine how much they can actually see.
However: Because of the small size of the screen, it’s difficult for dogs to recognize exactly what they’re looking at.
It’s actually more likely that a dog can recognize a still photo on a screen rather than a video since a dog’s eyes pick up movement rather than fine detail.
A huge HD TV screen can be blurred to some dogs… so attempting to compress all that visual information into a small screen isn’t ideal.
Is There Any Proof Dogs Watch TV?
According to this study, dogs can pick out the faces of other dogs on a computer screen.
Interestingly, the study suggests that dogs can form a visual ‘dog’ category (despite being shown many diverse breed images, along with non-dog images and human faces).
Of course, many owners can attest to how keenly their dog watches TV, too!
Do Dog’s Actually Enjoy Watching TV?
Dogs like to be entertained, and just as some dogs enjoy looking out the window, many dogs can find similar stimulation from watching TV.
Of course, the type of TV content your dog enjoys can vary. But programs like DogTV can be entertaining or calming, depending on the needs of your dog.
However: Just like humans, it’s not good for your dog to watch TV all the time. So, don’t forget to take them out for walks and have some regular playtime, too!