Why Does My Dog Love Watching Other Dogs on TV?

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If your family is like most, TV plays a big role in your entertainment. With several TVs per home in some cases, watching it with your pet may seem like a natural act, but do dogs like watching TV? What can they actually make out on the screen?

What can dogs actually make out on the TV screen?
Image Credit: Patryk_Kosmider/iStock/GettyImages

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Learning which movies dogs like to watch may help you understand a rescue dog or raise a puppy. But keep in mind that leaving on the TV or radio for your animal or buying videos dogs like to watch may not be the solution for separation anxiety or destructive acts when you're not around.

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What's behind a dog watching TV

You might think it's a good ideas to shop for videos dogs like to watch, but the actual content on the screen probably isn't the main reason your dog perks up when you turn on the tube. In fact, the reason your dog watches TV could be the result of a number of different factors, including the sound he hears and the types of images that play across the screen.

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Snuggling on the couch together, which is invariably in front of the TV, is a natural bonding act for both pets and owners. As for movies dogs like to watch, if there's a dog in a starring role, it could get his attention. The reason is that dogs can recognize other canines when they're on screen.

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How a dog sees TV

As you peer closely at your flat screen to see if that hockey goal was actually good, is your dog able to see the same details? When it comes to canine vision, dogs aren't able to pick out the same colors that we can.

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Humans have what's called trichromatic vision, which means we have three different cone types in our eyes that allow us to distinguish a range of colors, like red, green, and blue. Dogs, on the other hand, are dichromatic, so they only have the ability to see two cone colors — blue and yellow. A person's eyes also see colors more brightly than a canine's, resulting in a dimmer, more muted picture when your dog is watching TV.

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TV could depend on breed

The amount of TV you watch may also be a factor in whether your dog decides to tune in. If yours is on all the time, it's possible your dog will become desensitized to the noise and ignore it. If a dog is truly excited when she sees images on the screen, it could be related to her particular breed.

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For example, if you're watching the movie "Ratatouille," which is about a rat that became a chef, your terrier might prick up her ears since she was bred to hunt these pesky creatures and may enjoy watching when mice and other small rodents are featured. However, your beagle or basset hound might look away since there's nothing there for these breeds' nose to enjoy.

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Should TV soothe a dog?

While some companies have gone out of their way to attract canine attention with dog-themed advertisements, using TV to entertain your pup or keep him from excessive worry when you're at work may not help. The exception to this is if you've already trained your dog to rely on the TV's noise to calm him and act as a safety cue.

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If you want to try a sound to soothe your animal when you're away, you might switch on the radio or play music through an app. It turns out that there's evidence that soft rock and reggae can ease feelings of stress and anxiety in a dog.

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