Television News For Dogs (and people who love them)

You love dogs, and you love (or at least like) television, so I’ve got two pieces of news for you that combine dogs and TV.

First, CBS has a new canine reality series starting next month called “Dogs in the City.” Justin Silver is a dog trainer and behaviorist based in New York, and he’ll be offering tips and tricks to owners and their dogs with issues. In the big city, all kinds of dilemmas can arise. If you are going through a messy breakup, and you both want custody of your best buddy, how might that be resolved so your dog doesn’t suffer? Justin will talk about that.

Definitely worth watching, I think. The show debuts on May 30 at 8:00pm EDT. Check your local listings.

Next, a story that my own dachshunds would appreciate, particularly if we lived on the other side of the United States: Dog TV. What do I mean by that? A television channel just for dogs. If you live in San Diego, you can see for yourself. It’s an On Demand cable channel for dogs, from their point of view. The cameramen get on their knees: the dog’s point of view (particularly small breeds). This programming is designed to entertain and relax your dog while you’re at work. There won’t be advertising, so you don’t have to worry about your Yorkie picking up the phone and ordering seven dozen boxes of squeaky toys.

To compensate for a dog’s particular vision and sound needs, the colors are muted (their vision isn’t quite as full-spectrum color enabled as ours) and the music is specially written for dogs, with no extreme high or low frequency noise (which would bother them). Additionally, Dog TV will have no sharp or very loud noises, such as gunshots, explosions or excessively loud music.  Also, there won’t be reruns, so they won’t feel a need to change the channel!

One of my all-time favorite animal experts, Dr. Nick Dodman, Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, likes the idea. He told Business Week:

Dodman said that according to research on the canine brain, with analog television, dogs could only see a flickering screen. New technologies like digital TV, high-definition cameras, and enhanced production have changed the way dogs perceive the images, while big screens allow them to see from anywhere in a room, Neumann said.

Do dogs really understand what they’re watching? Dodman said research is ongoing, but it appears that dogs not only recognize other dogs on TV, they may even respond differently to their own breed.

The cost will be $4.99 a month. You’ll have to pay that, since remember, your dog doesn’t have pockets to hold the cash.


Photo credits: Dogs in the City, CBS. Bulldog watching TV, AP.


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