How Does Your Pet React To The TV?

For most people, the suspenseful scenes in movies feature action-packed chases or high-tension drama.  For those of us watching with our dogs on the couch, the real suspense happens when a character walks up to a house and we desperately plead for them to knock instead of ring the bell.  I would wager a large sum that many of you have had this exact conversation with your dog: “There is no one at the door!  It’s just the TV!”

Luckily my doorbell is broken, so doorbells in movies don’t send Eko into a frenzy.  This was not the case with our old family dog, Indy.  He would go from being out-cold-asleep to barking furiously whenever a bell rang.  He would stare at you with his eyes saying, “Hey buddy, didn’t you hear that!? Open the door!”  Eko will snore through bells, but if he hears a dog bark, all bets are off.

rhodesian ridgeback, dog blogEko was extremely intrigued watching the Dogs Decoded documentary

Rhodesian Ridgeback

He also sat right in front of the TV to watch the National Dog Show

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog blog

Similarly, if I play a dog or cat noise on my phone, it’s guaranteed to turn Eko’s head

What’s interesting is that Eko never falls for my imitation barks or whines.  He will only perk up if he hears a recording of a real dog.  While my family dog only responded to certain sounds from the TV, Eko also seems interested in watching the action as well.  I did a bit of digging and it turns out that there is actually a reason for this.  Dogs cannot visually process the images on standard definition TVs in a meaningful way  – it essentially looks like static – but they can view HD images fluidly.  (People much smarter than I am explain the science here)  There is now even a new channel, Dog TV, with programming specifically for dogs!

Now, Eko hasn’t watched Dog TV yet so I can’t give you his review.  However, the internet is loaded with photos and videos of pets having funny reactions to a show or movie.  Does the TV ever get a reaction out of your pet?

30 thoughts on “How Does Your Pet React To The TV?”

  1. Just like Eko, my ears always perk up if I hear a dog or a cat on tv,or the radio, or anywhere. But since mom and dad have an ancient tv and no cable at all and watch pretty much everything on mom’s laptop, I don’t know if I would be excited about seeing animals on tv…yet 😉

  2. Lola reacts to doorbells and wolf or coyote howls on TV, but otherwise, she seems to find it very boring. If we have friends over and are having conversations, she’s content to settle in and listen. But if we turn the TV on, she immediately gets a toy and tries to get us to play with her.

  3. Our staffie will bark at any dog she she’s on TV, or any animal that remotely resembles one. she is fine outside and doesn’t bark at other dogs though. I think she thinks they are trespassing on our property when she sees them in that box in the corner.
    She does seem to like certain things on TV. Cop programmes seem to be a favourite, must be all the sirens and flashing lights.


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