What do dogs see when they watch TV?

Do dogs see television like humans? Are they interested in the images that pass on the screen?

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What do dogs see on TV?

Dogs can definitely see the pictures on TV, and many even seem to enjoy the small screen.

Dogs can be attracted to both visual elements such as moving images as well as sounds emitted by television. However, it would seem that sounds take precedence over images for our canine friends, according to a British study.

It must be said that our dogs do not see images exactly the same way as human beings perceive them, their vision from afar not being as clear as ours.To perceive a clear image of what is broadcast on television, dogs must sit very close to the screen, which some of them do by the way.

Dogs also have a different perception of colors because they only have two types of cones in their retina, the receptors that allow color to be distinguished, compared to three in humans. They can therefore only perceive blue and yellow colors correctly but not red to orange colors very well.

Dogs are also much more sensitive to movement than humans. Consequently, they can see on television a series of images which flash very quickly, instead of seeing, like us, a continuous image. The human eye does not perceive flickering images if the screen refresh rate is higher than 50 hertz. Dogs, on the other hand, can see flickers up to 80 hertz, so if your screen's refresh rate is lower than this, the image may appear to "flicker" to them.This may be the case on older televisions.

Do dogs know TV isn't real?

" It is difficult to answer this question formally because we cannot know what dogs think about when they watch television."

That said, it seems that some dogs are able to recognize animals that appear on television. A study published in 2013 in the journal Animal Cognition showed that dogs could identify images of other dogs among images of humans and other animals, using only their vision.

But, in “real life” dogs use their sense of smell much more widely to perceive their surroundings and their environment, which is clearly not possible on a television image. For this reason, it is therefore very likely that most dogs are "aware" that the image on the screen is not real.

On the other hand, dogs can react to the sounds emitted by their fellow animals or other animals on television, by barking "in response" to the dog present in a TV program. They may also react to cues they know or the sound of a squeaky toy.

Why do some dogs watch TV and others don't?

A dog's breed can influence how it reacts to television. Thus, a hunting dog, moved mainly by its sense of smell, may not be as interested in images as a sheepdog, which will have a natural tendency to be more stimulated by moving objects that it sees on the small screen. . But, again, this is not a hard and fast rule and a dog's reactions to the screen may vary individually.

When dogs are interested in television, it seems that they "prefer" programs that feature their fellow dogs or rather lively animals that they know in real life (cat, squirrels, birds ), probably because they are often accompanied by sounds (barking, squealing) which attract their attention more.

Finally, unlike humans, dogs do not watch television continuously but most often have very short interactions with the screen, of the order of a few seconds each time.

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