I guess it’s okay if it’s educational television, right? Check out this recent conversation on our discussion forum about dogs watching television: Smirnoff writes: “I know in theory that dog’s can’t see the images on the television screen, but since getting a flat wide screen television my dog’s (especially the Rottie)seem to love watching it.
At first I thought it was just the bigger screen, so the images are catching their attention, but the Rottie has preferences to what she likes to watch and will move closer to the screen when those programs come on. Dog programs seem to be the favorite and as soon as she hears Cesar Milan speak she is straight in front of the television! She doesn’t bark or get excited, she just sits quietly in front of it watching it, she doesn’t seem transfixed on it, as she still listens to commands, it just seems odd that she is so into certain programs.
I know some noises on the programs have something to do with it, but she really does look like she’s watching what’s going on! She will actually lie in her bed all evening and chill out in front of the television! Is this showing I watch to my television? Is this normal for a dog? Do flat screens make images clearer to dogs?” Ginny replies: “Dogs see television similar to humans watching an old-time jerky flickering silent movie. The television picture is actually a constant series of pictures refreshed at a rate of appoximately 60Hz. This works well for humans because our flicker fusion, the point at which flickering light appears constant to us is 50 o 60Hz. For dogs, flicker fusion appears to occur at 70 to 80Hz. I don’t know if the flat screen makes a difference.
My dog also responds to the Cesar Milan show. Particularly one of the first episodes with the demon Chihuahua. My dog actually rushes to the screen, barking and trying to bite the dog growling on the screen. It’s really funny!” Cherie says, “When the old Barbara Woodhouse show was on PBS our dogs used to come running in as soon as they heard her voice. They’d sit on their footstool and “watch” the entire hour. Smirnoff adds: “Last night i was barked at for pausing the television while the Rottie was watching Caeser! She is getting like a bloke watching footie!”
Regolith replied, “I’ve had similar experiences with HD television. My dog will not watch a regular set, but HD sets with animals on them (especially dogs) catch his attention. Although I can’t confirm it, the idea that the flicker rate on a HD or LCD television being different sounds about right. Watch an old movie that flickers… it is obviously not real because real things don’t flicker. Since dogs use their ears and nose to suss out what’s going on and use their eyes mostly for confirmation, it makes sense that my dog will perk up at a barking TV dog and then lay back down when he sees the flickering picture (not a real dog), but when a barking dog shows up on the box and doesn’t flicker… “How’d that dog get in there?” Smirnoff added, “My television is HD, so that sounds about right! I just hope my ball addict Boxer doesn’t pick up on this; we could be in trouble when football is on the screen!”