What’s a dog to do to pass the time when he’s left alone in the house? Age-old options include sleeping, playing with toys, looking out the window all day, barking, crying, listening to music or to the TV, or tearing things up. Or all of the above. But now we can add one more option to the list: Watching DOGTV.
DOGTV is the nation’s first cable channel for canines. Its 24/7 programming has been developed to be ideal companionship for dogs who are left alone. Happy dogs are the stars of many scenes, since dogs love looking at other dogs. The company website says the content has been scientifically developed “to meet specific attributes of a dogs sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.”
DOGTV has been created to be compatible with a dog’s senses of hearing and sight. Programs are specially colored for brightness and contrast in a way that really pops out ideally for a dog’s vision, and the frame rate has been adjusted to go along with a dog’s capacity to view TV. (They see our TV frame rates very differently than we do.) Here’s how the coloring process changes the look of a typical scene.
In addition, music, sound effects, and specific ranges of frequencies are designed for a dog’s sensitive hearing, with nothing startling or annoying. (I wonder if they are using any of the Through a Dog’s Ear music I wrote about in a recent article?)
The programming is divided into three categories, based on a dog’s need. According to the website:
Relaxation: content designed to help the dogs relax, reduce their stress level, and keep them calm through soothing music, sounds, and visuals.
Stimulation: Ddogs need to be stimulated, which is hard to achieve when they are home alone. DOGTV uses stimulating scenes with and without other animals, animation sequences, and a variety of moving objects to stimulate the dogs. Great care is taken to use just the rights sounds and frequencies to encourage the dogs playfulness even when home alone.
Exposure: based on the most advanced veterinary science, DOGTV uses special sounds and visuals to help habituate the dog and make him more comfortable in his environment, by exposing him to different day-to-day stimuli.
DOGTV Network has some pretty big people behind it, including Nicholas Dodman, program director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts University, and respected dog trainer Victoria Stillwell, of Animal Planet’s hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog.
Sounds great! Sign me up! Unfortunately DOGTV is available only in the San Diego area right now, but a nationwide rollout is expected soon. Check in at DOGTV.com for updates.
Jake has no problem being left alone, but I would not hesitate to leave this on next time he’s alone for several hours. Whether or not it makes him feel better, I think it would go far in making me feel better. How about you? Would you like to see this available for your dog? (It’s a pay channel that would be $4.99 per month.) Would you use it?