Have you heard about cable television’s first network for dogs? I was curious when the buzz on DOGTV started last April. I wondered what exactly was unique about this concept, and if it would fly with both dog owners and their beloved canines. When checking out their site, http://dogtv.com, I discovered that it is geared towards dogs left at home when owners go to work or purely for entertainment purposes. The cost is $9.99 a month. Owners have choices in three categories: relaxation, stimulation or exposure.
As part of my research for this post I looked at some of their videos. A relaxation one worked on me immediately without a dog present. Granted, I had had a late night twenty-four hours before, but I found that the video was extremely soothing. Dogs were shown at rest on a beach with waves crashing in the background, and in other stunning tropical vistas. The dogs are shown later looking sleepier and then sleeping. It was quite hypnotic; I could feel my heart rate and breathing slow down as I watched.
I recently read an article about DOGTV, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/life-video/video-dogtv-entertains-stay-at-home-pooches/article4170553. In the article, Mary from Los Angeles describes how she is thrilled to have DOGTV for Bleu her French bulldog. She says that she was aware that Bleu loved the television show Family Guy and other cartoons. She explains how DOGTV came into their lives and how they use it.
I found the stimulation videos to be exactly as described. This one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLJdb6Yhg2I&feature=related, depicts dogs swimming, wrestling, catching balls and the sound of birds. I could not believe that this video had 214,426 likes on YouTube!
When looking at information on dogs watching TV I found a clip from the David Letterman show, https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=fK21wRjldq4 m. In the clip he has the top ten television shows with a twist geared for pooches.
All this had me thinking about our two Labradors. Both Abby and Ember are not really interested in the television. Occasionally a sound will divert their gaze to the TV, but usually only briefly. I do have the occasional dog that boards that adores the television. Marlo, a black Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix, comes to mind immediately. She is a sweet lap dog and even if sound asleep has her ears tuned in to any television sounds. We often laugh when Marlo growls and rushes to the TV screen when any animal is presented; the bigger the animal seems to be, the larger her reaction is. I was watching a documentary on elephants once and she was so excited! She remained on full alert for the remainder of the show.
I actually bought Marlo a video a few years ago about squirrels that was sold primarily as entertainment for dogs. It was fun gift to purchase, knowing her thrills gained watching television.
As I write this I am thinking about a video which I could produce to grab our Labradors’ attention. It would be full of things that give them joy or a cheap thrill. For instance, the camera would pan into our dish washer full of dirty plates. Another scene could be a glimpse of my senior neighbor, Irene, working in her garden waving over and saying hello to our dogs. Abby has perfected having Irene wrapped around her finger and often barks to get her attention. Once the attention is gained Irene retreats into her home and walks over with a container of dog treats that are kindly passed over our garden gate. Another scene to stimulate could be the mailman arriving to our home or the image of a squirrel or raccoon crossing our garden and up into our big tree. The best scene for them would for sure be the dog treat jar being filled or their bucket of food being filled to the brim. The sight of a new bag of food alone has the girls dancing in delight! The sound of the kibble pouring into the container no doubt is similar to the chips pouring out of a gaming machine in a casino.
We all love our dogs and the option of a cable channel just for them is an intriguing one. Would you use it? What would your dog most love to watch on TV?
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