Does Dogs Like to Watch Television? What does Science Say? You may have noticed that your dog is attracted to scenes of dogs barking as well as nature documentaries on TV. The pet typically pays full attention, wags their tail, and barks at the flickering pictures on the screen. What is the scientific reason behind this interest and what do dogs see and comprehend on the TV?
Depends on the Breed
To start, your dog’s breed plays an important role in what they see on the TV screen. Hunting breeds like hounds are scent-oriented and may not be attracted to a smell-lacking screen. In contrast, shepherd and herding breeds react more to the screen movements they see.
Different Perceptions and Experiences
Dogs’ perception of screen visuals varies from us humans. First, their experience of “flicker fusion frequency” is different. Humans require about 20 images per second to comprehend continuous film. But, dogs require more – nearer to 70 images a second. Older TV models refresh approximately 60 images per second. A dog thus perceives on-screen images as a strobe light or dancing flipbook effect. The newest TV screens show over 70 images a second, so you should invest in one to keep your dog interested in TV images.
Dogs’ perception of colors is also different from humans. They have just two color receptors compared to three in humans. A dog likely sees in blue and yellow shades. The cone cells also impact detailed perception which makes a dog’s vision blurrier than humans.
Plus, dogs are sensitive to noise. They are attracted by intriguing sounds like animal noises, toys squeaking, the barking of other dogs, and certain phrases. Dogs like to watch other dogs and they can tell the difference between an animated character and a real one.
You should leave your TV on and tune it to a channel that shows animals to keep your dog interested while you’re away. The visuals and sounds will be comforting to your pet compared to silence. Like humans, dogs have a short attention span and usually watch the screen only for a few minutes before looking away.
Raise an Active Pet
Overall, scientific evidence does not clearly reveal what a dog perceives and experiences when seeing a TV screen. They are attracted to animal videos on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones also. However, like humans, it is not advisable to get your dog addicted to TV. Dogs do like to watch TV but avoid making your pet a couch potato by encouraging it to indulge in playtime, exercise, outdoor activities, and interacting with your family members.
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