*****After reading the blog, see the Lola TV experiment below *****
Here are some things to consider:
- James Glover a retired veterinarian says that dogs are only watching movement and cannot decipher what those movements actually are:
“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,” (petpeoplesplace.com, James Glover).
- Noelle La Croix DVM says that certain television pictures are easier for dogs to see than others because of the varying refresh rates.
“Intermittent televised images appear stationary to a human observer since their projection rate exceeds the human “flicker fusion” rate. This rate roughly corresponds to the speed at which a retina “updates” an image to the brain…Cones are slower to update than rods. The canine retina is predominately rods that can detect flicker within images projected at a rate below 70 to 80 Hz. Therefore most televisions produce images that dogs perceive as flickering, without fluid (realistic) motion. Some newer HDTV’s operate in excess of 120 Hz, and can therefore project images that appear fluidly to a dog,” (VMCLI, Noelle La Croix).”
Whenever I sit down to watch television (I have a DLP TV upstairs and a DLP Projector downstairs, both capable of HD) my dog joins me and every time she sees a dog on TV she gets up and starts barking. She does not bark at people on TV, just dogs. The dogs can be silent or barking and Lola will display the same reaction. If she was only able to see movement, wouldn’t she have moments when she confuses movement for a dog on TV when no dog is actually present? Sometimes she will go as far as to jump off the bed and run over to look behind the television, as if the TV was in fact a window.
Lola watching TV: Humans Only
Lola watching TV: Dogs with Sound
Lola watching TV: Dog on MUTE
So tell me, does your dog watch TV?