Almost everyone I know with a dog claims that their pooch watches television. I believe them, but I also know that a dog’s eyesight is very different from ours, so what exactly does “watching TV” mean for a dog?
Pet experts say that a lot of dogs will actually follow the movement of objects on the screen–and may even bark. However a dog doesn’t see the screen the same way we do. Although dogs don’t see exclusively in black and white (as many people think), they don’t have the same range of color that humans do. There are fewer cones (color vision cells) in a dog’s eye than in a human’s eye. Yet, dogs have many more rods (light and motion detectors) than we do, so although they see a limited spectrum, they can see better at night. Dogs can also see flickering light better than we can, which means they might even be able to see individual frames in a television sequence where we would see a continuous scene.
Because of the anatomy of a dog’s eyes, the dog cannot tell what an object on the screen actually is. But the movement and shapes he is able to see can be pretty intriguing. The sounds emitted from the television are attention-grabbing as well. Because dogs can pinpoint the directional origin of sounds they hear, the TV can be quite aurally entertaining. Although experts say that a dog’s acute hearing can differentiate between a television sound and a live sound, many a dog still seem to be fairly well entertained by the sounds coming from the set.
Does your dog watch TV? What kind of programs does he or she like?