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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

« Dreaming of Dogs | Main | Why Dogs Eat Grass »

August 19, 2010


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I believe modern LCD display TVs exhibit much less flicker than older CRTs so dogs my give them more attention.

Another possible factor in why dogs don't watch TV is so much of it is people looking directly at the camera. From the dog's POV the boob-tube is full of unfriendly people!

There is a youtube video of a dog showing interest in dog picture on an ipad. As it sniffs at the screen it causes the picture to change and the dog reacts.

A dog I knew showed intense interest in an explicit video of a couple doing it "doggy style". When the dog finally turned away from watching the video (a minute or two) it gave me a very odd look! I had a harder time after that trying to get the dog's attention on the screen again.


From what you have said, the critical fusion frequency at which dogs can start seeing a solid picture on TV is much above the screen flicker frequency and due to this dogs fail to show interest in Watching the images on TV. But they can catch the sounds, and whenever dogs hear barking or any other animal sounds, they try to look for the source in the real life rather than on the TV screen.

TopDogTom | Small Dog Training ETC

I have had dogs that seemed to like watching TV and some who would get the deer in the headlights look when you tried get them to watch. I think there is some validity to individual dogs ability to see the flashing lights (Hertz or flicker-fusion-frequency) or maybe they are smarter than us and don’t want to clutter their minds with the dribble on TV. :-)

Beatrice Baker

I got my dog from a rescue group when he was 7 months old. He was attracted to TV any time he heard animal sounds--dogs barking, cats, bird calls, even monkeys chattering, etc. He would then sit very attentively and I could see his eyes tracking any movement on the screen. If there was no movement, he would lose interest fairly quickly. This behaviour disappeared by the time he was a year old. He is now 3 years old and he very occasionally will be attracted to something on the screen, again by some sound, but will only glance at it. He's an Australian Shepherd.

rick smith

although i've never had a dog who ever showed any interest in TV, fwiw, three of my six cats are XTREMELY fascinated by TV programs that show wildlife and will sit and watch for 30min at a time, sometimes getting closer and closer while they watch. they appear fascinated but have never made any movement to try and "catch a bird flying by" or anything like that :-)

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