Can Dogs Watch TV?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy five year old daughter wants to know if her dog can watch TV. (Sinna Sordillo - California)

Answer

Many people claim that their dogs watch TV. A lot of these dogs will actually follow the movement of objects moving around the screen and may also bark. However, the dog does not interpret the television the same way we do. The dog cannot determine what any object on the screen actually is. For example, if we can see a video of a dog running around a field, your dog will see a dark object moving around the screen and this may grab his attention and make him "watch".

The sounds of the television are also likely to gain the attention of the dog, and because they can pinpoint the directional origin of any sound they hear, they will naturally look at the TV. Most dogs, however, will differentiate between the sounds of, for example, a dog barking on TV and a real dog barking. Although unapparent to us, there will be a distinct difference which will render the TV version unimportant to your dog. Remember also, that the dog's most important sense, that of smell, is not present in television and may affect his reaction to stimuli such as the TV that is lacking scents.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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United Kingdom
NSummerfield
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Added on Jan 14th, 2014
We have 3 Jack Russell dogs. All of them pay attention to the television, providing they can see dogs, cats or horses on the screen. Two of the dogs look for animals and follow them around with great interest. A video of people playing, for example, is treated quite diffently by the dogs, or ignored completely. When I am using the Sky guide and wildlife is displayed on the mini-screen the dogs watch the mini-screen, providing there is something of interest. My understanding is that the dogs see much more on-screen than your web page implies. I suspect an adult dog seeing a television for the first time would react as you suggest.
   
Regards, Norman.
   
California
inqubabee12
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Added on Oct 7th, 2013
We have a rescue cocker and she will only react to the tv when she sees other animals, but when she sees puppies she licks the screen and jumps on the tv. When we turn the channel or turn it off, she will go behind the tv or computer( wherever we are watching) and look for them. I know that she also follows along with the animals without sound and reacts the same with or without the noise. She really loves puppies and goats.
Florida
thepalmbeacher
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Added on May 15th, 2013
Hello, I must disagree with the good doctor on this one. My 11 year old chihuahua has,been watching tv everyday since a pup. She can distinguish between humans and animals. She can sit for hours watching television with humans without a bark, but as soon as any animal comes on,screen runs toward the screen and barks continously until the animal leaves the screen. If an animal runs toward her she jumps on the screen as to attack it. Her eyes are glued to the television until I turn it off ..her twin,sister chihuahua doesn't have the same capability as her sister but my friends are amazed at her intelligence ..thanks. eddy.
Pennsylvania
doggiedaddy
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Added on May 2nd, 2013
My Shih-Tzu doesn't seem to be interested in the tv, but my terrier loves watching when dogs are shown --He especially loves the videos from DogsFavoriteDVD.com and we leave those on when he's home alone.
Oklahoma
recover56
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Added on Feb 11th, 2013
I know my dog enjoys tv,especially the animal planet,I know because he told me.In fact he hides the remote so he can dominate what we watch.
Massachusetts
WuffStuff
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Added on Aug 16th, 2011
My dog is a 3 year old Samoyed—his mom, uncle and littermates could care less about the tv. He however, is obsessed. I have had many dogs over the years and he is the only one that notices. He will come from the other room and try to nip at the television if there is an image of a dog or other animal. He will watch the humans move on the screen but he is able to differentiate the moves of a human versus those of other animals and will try to sniff and nip at them. We need to block our tv with a gate when he is on the loose and the tv is on. I never realized how many animal commercials they have on tv until this dog because he notices everything and tries to get at the tv—whether or not the sound is on. He also picks up on cartoon animals—my guess is that he is able to see the outline, and see the behavior and that lets him know that it is an animal. That is also why animals can recognize there owners from a far distance in a crowd—they recognize the body movement of their humans. He also sees things on the computer screen and even dog images in magazines and photographs. If there was an eye study being done on dogs that watch TV, etc., I would love to have my boy participate as I am really curious as to what it is about him that makes him extra sensitive to the imagery.
California
aguyinslo
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Added on June 3rd, 2011
My Boston Terrier, Sophie, does see TV. If a commercial is on and there is just a flash of a dog in the background, she sees it. I will rewind the TIVO to see what she barked at and sure enough, there will be a dog in the shot. Sometimes the dog is not even the main focus of the scene and is just in the background. She even responds to cartoon dogs or animals on tv and growls or barks. Never does she bark at a human. She once saw her best friend, a basset hound on the local news, and instead of barking, she whined because she wanted to play with him. There was no dog sounds in the clip, just the newscaster talking. I should post this on youtube!
United Kingdom
staffie
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Added on Feb 20th, 2011
I cannot speak for other breeds but from what i am reading and what i have witnessed it seems that maybe staff type dogs can watch tv. my staffie-pit loves to watch animal programmes and will quite happily pay attention to the tv. he also shows emotion, we the other month we watched a documentry about a year in the life of polar bears. geroge (my dog) was fixated on the tv. at one time a polar bear was attacking a seal and it was a graphic and noisy attack. george was so starteled he jumped up on the sofa and hid behind me shaking. i know this may sound far fetched but it is true.
   
he will react differently to different animals that he sees on the tv. if the sound is muted he will still identify animals. when adverts come on with animals he will pay attention but if its an advert about home insurance he will switch off.....just like the rest of us probably ;)
   
p.s. when i was a child we had basenjis and they seemed to watch the tv to
New Jersey
lballinger
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Added on Feb 12th, 2011
I would agree with most of the other responders. I have 3 dogs ..A pit , a border collie, and a Lab/shepard mix. Out of all three the only dog who watches tv is my pit. He only resonds to dogs on the television, and seems to follow them with his head while they move on the screen.
   
Sound on or sound off makes no difference with him, and he also notices them without us calling any attention to them.
   
As for saying sound and moving objects are what dogs watch i totally disagree. My tv has moving objects on it all day long and my pit waits only for other dogs to come on the screen before he takes interest.
   
United Kingdom
mutmadmonkey
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Added on Feb 2nd, 2011
Well as with many other responses there is no doubt that our Staffie watches television when and only when there are animals on the screen and even if the sound is muted!
   
She does not respond to any other images on tv not to humans or cartoons just animals.
   
Our JR watches occasionally ( animals again) but is to lazy to be bothered, our spaniel is to busy to sit still and look at anything.
Canada
chloe2757
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Added on Jan 29th, 2011
Well, I am not sure about that! I have a chihuahua and basically he ignores the tv unless there is an animal on it. If it is an animal other than a dog he will just watch it but if it is a dog he goes crazy! Even if the dog on tv is not barking or making any sound he still will watch it and run round to the back of the tv barkng and carrying on.
Illinois
jjsilk
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Added on Dec 31st, 2010
U say dogs see the movements and can't completely make out what things are. Well I have two dogs, one a boxer/pit and one a lab/chow. My lab will not even act as if there is a tv while my boxer notices everything. She(the boxer) will sit and watch the tv for minutes at a time. She can tell animals from humans. She always chases the animals like it is her friend and wants to play. She will also see the somewhat stationary mii character on my wii and those inparticular drive her crazy and also u say they see a moreso dark object, but if I use the hand cursur that is on the main screen of the wii which is a pure white with light blue around it. She will follow it side to side up or down even if not moving she see where it is. So I was wondering is there maybe a difference in some dogs so they can see and some breeds can't. I have heard only few breeds can actually see the tv but most can not. And I can see that statments truth in my two dogs.
Florida
maqroll
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Added on Oct 9th, 2010
I've 3 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and 1 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The spaniel routinely barks at the tv when animals appear, even if they don't move. Never humans, only animals and a few times monsters that looked like animals. If the aniaml on screen is moving, the spaniel runs, barking, up to the tv and the Ridgebacks run right past her to the door next to the tv, interpreting her barks to mean that something is coming. Sound on, sound off, same thing. Land animals, birds, fish. The spaniel barks at nothing else on tv. Once, and only once, she barked at a dog in a Madeline cartoon we were playing for our granddaughter. I'm not one of those persons finds much, if any, overlap between human intelligence and canine intelligence. In nearly everything, the spaniel displays much less intelligence than the Ridgebacks. But the answer above fails to account adequately for what the spaniel does routinely: receive info from the tv screen, interpret it, and act on it.
Romania
crisp733
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Added on Sept 21st, 2010
Hi,
   
I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback female that really watches TV. She is interested mostly in Animal Planet. It makes no difference if the sound is off. She is not interested in any moving objects but animals, fish, or even a movie where a dog is present. She becomes interested even if the sound was off at the moment she noticed the animal, either moving or standing still. My only conclusion is that she can discern between images seen on TV, with or without sound. The other dog, an older Rhodesian Ridgeback male, was interested in TV in his youth, but getting older he's not so excited about it any more. The thing is I don't like them to watch TV because they tend to get closer and closer to the screen and I don't think it is safe.
Texas
teksazdams
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Added on Sept 9th, 2010
My dog recognizes commercials and the music or jingle, and knows exactly when the dog or cat will show up. He jumps up and down and barks. He recognizes dogs, cats and horses. See him at youtube.com (Search: Tryskit) I have a video of him watching the Kentucky Derby. I don't know whether he knows the movement or shape of certain animals. I just thought of doing this search to see if anyone else has dogs who watches TV like this.
   
He knows the song Angel by Sarah McLachlan, and if he hears it he looks for the commercial with the sad abused dogs. He'll be sleeping while I watch TV, and he'll pop his head up when he hears something he recognizes and will wait to see the pet. If it's a new ad he's never seen before, I say puppy! and he runs and barks, and will remember the ad for the next time.
Vermont
ShylosGuy
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Added on Sept 9th, 2010
This is a really timely topic for me. My ten year old mixed breed, "Shylo", after a lifetime of totally ignoring the TV has this Summer become obsessed with watching it. And, not to be disagreeable, but he really IS watching it. I believe he absolutely CAN differentiate the images he sees. He gets excited over any four legged animal, but most particularly dogs and cats. He also seems to really like the Fairpoint "bundle" creature.
   
He watches for hours at a time. Makes no difference wether it's a high def TV or the old kind. He actually runs for the TV first thing in the morning - even before his food dish.
   
I would be interested in any theories as to why this sudden interest. My thought is that perhaps there is some change in his aging eyes that makes the images appear differently. At any rate, it's is endlessly amusing in this household. (Though the nose-prints on the TV - not so much).
United Kingdom
michdwy
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Added on Sept 2nd, 2010
Of course I accept the expert, however, certainly dogs differ very much in their attitude towards TV. I have experience of many dogs, like my present lurcher (greyhound cross) they have usually totally ignored TV. She does not react at all to sound or vision even if it is a pack of dogs barking or thunder,both of which would set her off barking in real life. My designer dog pug/shih tzu, however is fascinated by TV. She attacks it, defending my home from any dog or other animal, but (here I quibble about how she actually see) she will wag her tail at pups. She loves sport of any kind and watched Wimbledon tennis for hours on end. I leave the set on just for her. Strangely she also reacts to music which builds up tension in a movie. She knows as I do that something horrific will occur and growls accordingly. That I do not understand at all.
   
Michael Dwyer, Yorkshire, UK
   
Canada
Gate420
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Added on Aug 18th, 2010
I belive the answer should be changed to some dogs can and some can't because some dogs can see 2 dimmensional while other dog's can't I was told this by a vet and my dog can see 2 dimmensional and can see tv I know this because at the vets there are dogs painted on the walls and when my dog enters she goes after these paintings when I aks them why does my dof attack them painting and the other dogs don't they said well the really smart dog's can see the paitings while the regular intellegence dogs can't see the painting's now weather it really has to do with intellect I don't know could be the vet's way of puting it easy to comprehend but I can say this out of all my dogs this one is the smartest dog I have ever raised my other dog cannot see the paintings and has no interest in tv at all so I tend to belive this explanation
California
henry55
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Added on Aug 6th, 2010
I don't know where you get your info because you are so wrong. My dog Henry is a sharp pei and lab mix and he follows and reacts to the specific images on television. He will watch, waiting for animals, and has different reaction dependent on the kind of animal. Certain ones (werewolves on True Blood) will cause him to get very upset while others (kung fu panda) he likes and just stares at and pants. He reacts to the image of the animal whether they are moving or not. He once got excited when a character lifted up his sweater to reveal he was wearing a tee shirt with an image of a dog. Sometimes he will spot animals in the corner before we do. He see everything.
North Carolina
MomtoGus
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Added on Aug 3rd, 2010
My Westie recognizes animals, especially dogs and cats, but also elephants and other animals on tv. I have done extensive tests, and it has nothing to do with sound, and it has nothing to do with movement. Just today my dog reacted to a cat in the background of a room on HGTV and again reacted to a life-size portrait of a bulldog over a mantel. He otherwise pays no attention to tv.
   
When he sees a dog or cat on tv he vocalizes deeply, then after a moment jumps down and runs to the tv, and puts his paws up or jumps up and barks until the image disappears. He has done this for years. He also recognizes the music for ads that have dogs in them and is on the alert after the first second or two.
   
But as I said before, he also recognizes animals in programs and he recognizes them when no sound is on. He also does not distinguish between a dog barking on tv and a real dog barking. He barks back either way. When the tv is off, my dog is a quiet, delightful, affectionate, funny guy and he does not bark.
California
PsychePunk
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Added on June 4th, 2010
I had one dog that watched TV. She sat down with her back against the couch, back legs stretched out in front of her, and watched.
   
She did have a few favorites (that you might expect) which caused her to come running. She also had a few music videos that were favorites. As soon as she heard the song start she would come running, sit herself down and watch the video. When it was over, she got up and left.
   
But the oddest thing she liked, and I never really understood why, was conversations between two people in a close up shot. She would sit down and watch an entire hour of Law and Order or similar show. After a while I noticed that the thing that would get her to sit down watch was when there was an intense or serious conversation between two people, side by side, shot close to their faces. Once it caught her attention she would watch until a show of a different sort would start. If there were two or three Law and Order type shows on in a row she could sit there and wait for "the scene" for two or three hours. The more times 'the scene' played, the longer she would watch. If the show had long breaks between 'the scene', she would get bored of waiting and leave. I know this seems crazy but she watched them like a tennis match, turning her head back and forth looking at the actor speaking. These shows would never have her running in from another room to watch, she had to be in the room when it came on. I do have a huge television screen.
   
Everyone who witnessed this commented on it saying things like "Is your dog watching TV?"; "Does she always sit like while watching TV?" (said as if all dogs enjoy an hour or two of TV in the evening, it was just way she sat that seemed odd); AND my favorite "Do you think she understands everything they are saying, or most of it?" (said in the same way you might wonder if a ten year old understands all that is being said on the program).
   
New Hampshire
ccog108
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Added on May 23rd, 2010
I apologize for disputing with and expert but my Pitbull Haley does watch TV. She will just watch but more amazingly, there is not a commercial, cartoon, or show with a dog in it that she does not react to. She crys when she sees them. I thought it was pretty amazing and ironic when she cried watching the commercial for the ASPCA commercial where either Willie Nelson, or Sarah Maclaclan sings. During writing a Purina commercial came on and I watched her eyes as she was laying on the couch, she then cried, then jumped down off the couch and went to the TV. She has even gone up the stairs behind the TV to see if the pet is there, or motions to go outside as if they would be there. My friends think this is amazing. Seeing as I have read articles to dispute the fact, I guess she is pretty amazing. Can the expert please explain this behavior and help me understand?
Florida
debnern99
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Added on May 18th, 2010
We have a rat terrier who watches and cocks her head at the tv. We were watching Tommy Boy and she laid on the bed and watched for about 15 minutes.
Maryland
derek87
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Added on April 19th, 2010
i have to say i agree and disagree my 2yr old carin terrier watches tv, he doesnt care about animal planet, but discovery channel, a haunting, he loves that and the food network, cartoons sometimes.
Texas
thenextguy
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Added on March 27th, 2010
We have a two year old female puppy that's half poodle and half chi-pom. She goes crazy whenever she sees any animal on TV,it's really remarkable.One day recently I pulled up large still images of dogs(head only)on my PC monitor and she reacted the same.With no prompting of any kind she sat upright and growled and barked at the image and got on her hind legs in front of the monitor.I've never seen anything like it!
Alaska
crockymfc
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Added on March 11th, 2010
My collie x lab watches animals on TV even if there is no noise.
   
Im pretty sure dogs can see high definition TVs but they cannot see the old TVs.
   
Has anyone tested this?
Missouri
mycatiscrazy
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Added on Feb 20th, 2010
my dog never did but my cat started watching the last Olympics like crazy for some reason.
   
The stop smoking commercial Chantrix or whatever with the turtle and the rabbit my cat would watch them like hawk and run up and jump on the stand to get to them. I believe she could distinguish them as things she would normally stalk.
   
You have to consider tv is now HDTV and much more lifelike.
Washington
fuzzybear
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Added on Feb 4th, 2010
I have a jack russell and everytime there is a dog on tv, wether it barks or not, he will get excited and run up to the tv and bark at it and jump up and down trying to play with it.
Ohio
roscoesmom
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Added on Sept 30th, 2009
My dog watches TV, too. The only time he perks up is when there is another dog on the screen. Also, when we play home videos of my Dad's dog (whom our dog LOVES), he goes crazy...
Canada
pouddy
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Added on Sept 27th, 2009
I have to disagree, I have a 5 year old pug that watches t.v only when an animal pops on screen, be it a real one or a cartoon, he will bark and growl at it follow it off screen and will search for it behind the t.v
United Kingdom
annualuk
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Added on Sept 3rd, 2009
Im not sure if that is the case i have a staffordshire bull terrier and i was reserching why my dog likes to watch tv. thats how i got here. it will sit and bark at the tv so i turn it on in the morning and likes to watch childrens tv (cartoons ect). but when the kids get up she wont even bother with tv all the time they are there. once they have gone school back to tv. she even trys to sit like a person lol its very funny to watch ill take some pics. Maybe ill send her school to.....
   
Florida
DougRB
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Added on Aug 27th, 2009
I have had a different experience with one of my dogs, a standard poodle. She will go crazy when she sees animals on the TV and will look behind the TV. Even if there are no sounds from the TV. In addition, she will get excited when she saw a video of my jetski, which she likes to ride. None of my other dogs have reacted to TV.
Washington
WabaxPets
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Added on Aug 27th, 2009
I had an Irish Setter who reacted very strongly whenever a dog was on TV, running to the back of the TV looking for the dog. We first noticed it when we were watching a dog movie. Then it got to when ever there was a dog on TV. If he was in another room and heard a dog barking on TV he would run in the room and stick his face up to the screen and watch it and then run to the back of the TV to try to find it. Where ever he was in the house, if we saud "puppies on TV" he came running into the room and stuck his face in the tube.
Oregon
toyful
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Added on July 7th, 2009
I have to completely disagree with that answere. I have three dogs,two muts and a pure bred Rott, and have noticed that the mutts could care less about what is on tv. However, the Rott perks up and watches the screen when dogs are on. I've put shows with other animals on, he doesn't react the same. I've also shown dogs on screen with the volume completelty off, and he still picks them out. So to say it's because of the sound can't be true, and if it were simply dark figures moving across the screen, why wouldn't he react to a car, horse, cat, or any of the many other moving objects on tv? It may be true that not all dogs watch tv, but to say that all dogs can't decifer whats on the screen seems to me to be untrue.
Rhode Island
Mommydixon
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Added on July 4th, 2009
Maybe it is just the movements and sound that attract a dog to the tv, but my female yellow lab is obsessed with the movie Bolt and Animal Planet lol.
Texas
deusXmchna
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Added on June 28th, 2009
It's a lie! My bulldog loves Dr.Who!! (he also leans a bit to the left politically, but we've agreed to not discuss religion or politics at the dinner or poker table)
Maryland
MsLynette
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Added on March 24th, 2009
I must also disagree. My 3 1/2 year old Scottie, Bailey watches TV religiously. As soon as I reach for the remote, he is perched in front of the screen. He watches drama, action, commercials and of course loves the Animal Planet. When an animal, dog, cat, buffalo, or whatever, happens to be on TV, he barks, growls, whines, and dashes to the window looking for the animal he sees on the TV. However, he hasn't always watched TV. We started to notice his TV watching behavior about a month or so ago. My husband told me the Bailey was watching TV and I thought he was joking. Well, low and behold, he was serious and right on point.
   
Bailey seems to like TV so much, that I put his booster seat in front of the TV so his neck doesn't get stiff from looking up so much. And now, when the TV comes on, he walks over and gets into he seat.
Canada
wraunald
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Added on March 9th, 2009
This morning my Siberian Husky/Golden Lab cross showed me that there is no doubt he can see clearly what is happening on an lcd screen.
   
I was at the computer, watching a video my wife made of me trying to teach the dog to retrieve one of two sticks where he has to differentiate between the two and retrieve the correct one. Anyway, he was lying on the floor on the other side of the room when I started the video. It was obvious that it was the sound of my voice that attracted his attention but he came over and started to watch. When I threw the stick, it landed off screen and his eyes not only followed the stick until it left the screen but he began looking for the stick under the computer desk right below where it would have landed if that were possible. If it were the sound of the stick landing that he was following, he would have looked at the speaker but he did not. He looked where he thought the stick should have gone.
   
This is only a 19" lcd screen and it is up on a desk so he was watching from an angle well below the level of the screen and his eyes were no closer than 2 feet from the screen.
Texas
DianneH
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Added on Feb 28th, 2009
I must also disagree. Our labradoodle not only gets very excited by videos of animals on our TV (even without sound), but she also gets excited by still pictures of dogs on the screen. I discovered this by accident when I hooked up my computer to our TV screen and she saw a photo of herself on my desktop. She mostly ignores the TV, but definitely notices when there are animals (especially dogs) on the screen. She starts jumping up to see the screen better, barking, and running to the room behind the screen, looking for the dog. I would have never believed it if I hadn't seen it myself.
Massachusetts
JET99999
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Added on Feb 10th, 2009
We have a 6 month old male Scottie and hes been watching the Westminster dog show each night, tonight on Comcast ON Demand - and I mean watching, very intensly, and very close (from a foot away) with 100% attention - reacting to each dog too - barking at various times He never EVER watches the TV for other shows. He's definitely intepreting the images as dogs - probably not unlike seeing a dog out our giant picture window who happens to be walking by, meaning smell is not an element
California
JoeCit
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Added on Feb 4th, 2009
Seablood:
   
This sounds like a not-too-happy situation. You need to become the 'Pack Leader', claim the TV, etc. as yours and let your pet watch at YOUR convenience.
   
We've gotten a lot of good info & techniques from watching "Dog Whisperer". That guy, Cesar, really knows (& loves), dogs. It's worth a look. Best wishes.
Canada
MochasMom
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Added on Feb 4th, 2009
I have to disagree. My dog seems to recognize the difference between people and animals on the tv, even with the sound off.
   
Not only that, but she will ASK me to turn the tv on, she sits in front of the tv in my office, starting at it, and then bark, look back toward the tv... until I turn it on for her.
New York
seablood
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Added on Jan 24th, 2009
I had a beloved German shepherd that would, once in a while, glance at the boob tube, but, for the most part, couldn't care less about what was on the tv. That is why I was so shocked when my new border collie took complete control of the living room, Tivo and all! Wolfie will actually nip on my toes every time I put my favorite news programs on instead of his favorite Animal Planet pet shows. I have a backlog of about 9 hours of my own favorite programming on the Tivo that Wolfie won't let me watch! I'm besides myself because I can't even watch the tv in the other room--he insists I be there with him watching America's Funniest Animals. I have video footage of him watching his shows, and they are hilarious ! But those animal shows can be tedious for a human after 10 straight hours. Help!
United Kingdom
teresamaria
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Added on Jan 23rd, 2009
My dog Jinja certainly does watch TV.. not just when there are animals,still or moving but children too.. especially pocoyo..the little boy dressed in blue...Jinja jumps up at the tv screen and watches and turns her head side to side and wines when he talks because i assume she wants to lick him all over like she did with our live budgies..she loved them so much she misses them as when the first died she wined because she couldn't see him...she barks at the dogs and watches them move and jumps up and growls at them but the children distract her from play as she likes to listen to their voices...I have videos of Jinja watching tv..we just love to watch her for ages ..jinja is so amusing..we all love her to bits..
Delaware
prettygirl
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Added on Jan 15th, 2009
My 2 year old Bichon Frise does indeed watch TV, and when there is a dog, cat, lion, etc. on the screen, she starts growling and then runs up to the TV and starts jumping and barking until they disappear. She use to look around the TV to see where they went. Baby Girl will quiet down and sit and see if they are viewed again. The animals do not have to be moving or making any noise. Since she has been brought up around horses, when she sees one, there is no reaction from her. But she watches TV alot. I have two Bichons, the one year old could care less about TV.
Michigan
wsthomson
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Added on Jan 15th, 2009
My dog's attention was captured by a barking dog on TV. The dog ran off screen, at which point my dog got up and went behind the television looking. I will never believe that he wasn't "watching", even if only for a minute or so.
New York
charlie01
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Added on Jan 5th, 2009
sorry, but i beg to differ. my female mongrel is able to "recognize" numerous commercials that have various animals in them. when she hears the commercial on tv, she comes running into the room.
   
she also sees not only other dogs and cats, but she sees various animals as well. she can also see animals that are shown in cartoon form. i've witnessed her growling at animals that are outlined only. this means she can easily identify the shapes on various animals and not because they were just movements on the screen.
   
she gets excited when people fight or argue on shows, she lays there and watches Law and Order, and she would actually growl at Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm.....(not that i blame her.)
   
she loves to watch kids on tv too. when she's laying down, her eyes are always on the tv. as i type she's growling at the dogs on The Dog Whisperer. in fact, her growling and carrying on gets so bad, i avoid channels with animals as much as i can.
   
Pennsylvania
slowe
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Added on Jan 2nd, 2009
Dr Glover:
   
I am afraid you are absolutely wrong with your statement "The dog cannot determine what any object on the screen actually is". We have a terrier who watches a significant amount of television, couple of hours a day minimum. He watches many things run by, flash by, pop in and out, but only until a dog is the object of the motion will he get excited and jump down and attack the television screen. He will sit motionless watching animals on television. People? He doesn't much care. Watches, but does not react. But should a dog, an angry, mean looking dog appear, he will get into his defensive posture, follow it on the screen, bark at it if necessary, and attack the screen. I will be happy to submit video to corraborate this. Our other dog, a collie, doesn't even know we have a television.
   
So, I respectfully disagree with your opinion. I have facts to prove otherwise.
   
Best wishes for an enjoyable 2009.
   
Scott K Lowe
   
Butler, PA
New Zealand
SarzNZ
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Added on Dec 26th, 2008
I have two dogs, and 8 yr old Jack Russell cross and an 8 month old pedigree foxie. We all watched the movie "Eight Below" on TV a month ago and my older dog has grown up with TV and seems to love watching it. He became very upset when in the movie mentioned above the huskey's get attacked by a Lion Seal and had to move away from the TV and was very distressed by the events that happened to the dogs on TV. I used to think he didn't really comprehend what was going on but now I think its different. Was interesting to watch but a bit disturbing as well.
Georgia
flashfox
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Added on Dec 22nd, 2008
I've watched my border collie pretty closely while he's sitting in the livingroom. For the most part he ignores the tv, but occasionally he'll see something that catches his eye. It is almost always a: 1)another dog 2)a horse 3) a cat
   
I know its not just the sounds because he ignores dog barks and such and only seems to care if a dog is doing something interesting, like diving or fetching (which are fun things for him to do).
   
I sat down and watched Babe with him once and he even cocked his head several times when the dogs talked to each other and seemed bothered when the sheep laughed. He took almost no interest in the pig, but he's never seen one in real life.
   
He only started taking interest in horses on tv after he met one.
   
To be fair, he's the smartest dog I've ever had and can even play the magic cup game (we hide his ball under 1 of 3 cups and move them around...sorta slow). I'd say he's above average for a dog.
New Mexico
yangnyin
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Added on Dec 4th, 2008
Actually, a recent study showed that dogs can distinguish TV/computer images of dogs. A whole spread of breeds of them, even! However, without motivation (a treat) most dogs would ignore the images since they had no smell or interaction.
Kansas
jrivera
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Added on Nov 1st, 2008
My Papillon can tell the difference between dogs & people on tv with the sound off. When she sees dogs she starts to bark, whine & chase her tail. It's the funniest thing.
Indiana
kfentress
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Added on Aug 29th, 2008
My Westie watches tv and can distinguish between people and animals even when there is no sound! If he sees any animal on the screen, moving or sitting still, he will go nuts and bark at the tv. He can definately tell the animals from people!
Alabama
carold
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Added on Aug 11th, 2008
One of my dogs, a Chihuahua/Feist/Beagle spayed 4 year old female mix, is the funniest, all legs little thing you've ever met! She is babysitter to the younger dogs who have come into our home and can understand complex comands like instead of having to break up telling her to get a toy, take it to her crate and then come back to me, I can just tell her the whole thing and she will do it. Our other dogs have trouble with that. Anyway, my point with this is, she reacts to certain things on TV. Namely, puppies or dogs in trouble. Mostly to the sound, yes. But there have been times when she has just reacted to a certain picture of a dog being up on the screen and it is only puppies and hurt dogs, when I watch the animal rescue shows. She doesn't react much when it is in a movie or TV drama if she reacts at all. She has been known to get up and put her paws and nose on the TV and to try to look around the other side for those puppies, but she's stopped looking for them after a few times. But just goes to show you never know what your dog will notice and what they won't! I still can't get her to sit!! She's too stubborn.