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March 18, 2013

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
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?

Comments for How Does Your Pet React To The TV?

  1. raisingdaisy says:

    Love that last photo!! It’s funny you should post this, I’m doing a post on Daisy and the TV too! 🙂

  2. nerdgrl says:

    Doorbells only for Steffi. Sometimes a raise of the head if there’s a dog barking on TV but pretty much just doorbells.

  3. Boomer and Dottie will react but only on occasion to hearing another animal on TV, sometimes they are in such a deep sleep they don’t even move. But, like Eko they don’t respond at all to my attempts at barking and whining.

  4. Super Bowl Sunday is all about the puppy bowl for our RR, Titan. Thanks for sharing the info on dogs viewing capabilities HD vs Std.

  5. Judy says:

    My beagles will howl along with wolf howls. They also get aggitated when they hear puppies !!

  6. I like Soccerball on tv and I’m angry if I see Cesar Milan (no idea why). Your last photo is wonderful, Eko.

  7. Great photos 🙂 Two of our dogs have almost no interest in the tv, but our third, Chey, has an ever expanding list of things he can’t stand to see/hear. Last night during a wildlife programme about Africa, he took issue with zebra and dung beetles (!!)

  8. I have two of the strangest animals EVER! Neither of them react to the TV (Yes, they can hear and see lol) My first cat, (Bobo) used to ALWAYS react to the TV!

  9. emma says:

    Hey, there is a mini-me on the dogs decoded photo! We aren’t interested in watching tv but we do react to barking or howling dogs on the tv or on mom’s phone and our friend Buddy goes wild when a doorbell rings on tv.

  10. Victoria says:

    Rigby freaks at the doorbell and if i could talk to the people who did the golden grahams cereal ad on TV i would tell them to KNOCK instead of ringing the doorbell – PLEASE. Muffing loves to watch Big Cat Diaries and Too Cute. She is mesmerized by the big cats and loves to bark at the hyenas and the puppies on Too Cute have her standing on her hind legs to get closer to the TV (and she is no small dog – towers over the TV and media stand by a good foot and a half).

  11. I’m like Eko, and only respond to real animals on tv:-)

  12. Cross my heart, Arri actually lays on the couch and watches TV, waiting for an animal to appear. Then she jumps downs and goes into a barking frenzy. Horses drive her crazy the most, followed by cats and any other random mammal. She seems to like commercials the best, knowing that her odds are pretty good that an animal will show up.

  13. Sage says:

    Every once in a while, Sage will look at the TV after a certain noise–dog bark usually–but normally she’s just not interested. I haven’t tried Dog TV yet, but it sounds intriguing!

  14. Jorie says:

    Wow, I had no idea about the Dog TV and the fact that regular TV looks like static to dogs. Very interesting. Cute photos and you’re teaching us something new! Go Will.

  15. Dana Harader says:

    3 of my dogs couldn’t care less about tv sights or sounds….but maddie (my black lab) watches tv and barks at all animals – whether or not they make any noise…i can’t watch bull riding or rodeos either….she had a favorite commercial with a dancing elephant and when she heard the music she would run in the room to bark at it…the other dogs just look at her like she’s nuts….i love it!!!!

  16. Boomdeeadda says:

    That’s a funny one of Eko watching TV in the dark, HA. I actually posted a picture of Blossum sitting right in from of the TV one morning when a dog on TV looked just like our Buddy. We do watch Ellen together too. So I’m totally convinced she’s taking it all ink. Here’s the picture from that post.


  17. The Three Moggies have no interest in tv. They only know when it is on they have guaranteed lap time 🙂

  18. Carol says:

    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.

  19. Shary Hover says:

    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.

  20. onebluedog says:

    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 😉

  21. kdkh says:

    Our parrots love to watch TV, particularly cartoons. They like to imitate the special effects. Our best talker, an African Grey, will sometimes comment — appropriately — on the action. They don’t like action movies, but really love the country music channel. Go figure!

  22. Hi! I do plead with the TV characters not to knock on doors. I keep waiting for Optimus to be more interested in TV but so far he’s not.

    Doesn’t Eko want to make a video and teach his fellow dog how to watch (and appreciate!) TV? Optimus could learn some grooming and presentation tips from the dog show contestants, if Eko would teach him the fine art of TV!

  23. Jessica says:

    Very interesting- Taylor seldomly reacts to the TV…only to the observation of Daddy and/or Mommy sitting in front of the TV. Since our sofa faces our hallway, Taylor gives us her ball the second we sit down so we can throw it down the hallway for her to fetch over and over and over…and over again! 😉

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