We sit on the couch, at our desks, in the kitchen, and on the bed; wherever our eyes may peacefully binge watch our favorite movies and TV without interruption. Accompanying our couch potato journey is the family dog, our trusty (albeit also lazy) sidekick. They may just snuggle and snooze, perhaps boof in their sleep, but sometimes you look over and find their ears alert, eyes staring in the direction of the screen, and...could it be? Is Fido hooked on that cliff-hanger or are you just imagining it?
In an alternate universe I'm sure a modern dog utopia exists - where canines stream videos on 'Barkflix', argue about the 'Old Yeller Cinematic Universe', and tune in to 'Live Viewer Treats'. But in our reality, the real reasoning behind your terrier's interest in the telly may simply be based on personality and breed characteristics.
Dogs are able to recognize visuals of other dogs, even among images of humans or other animals, according to a 2013 study published in Animal Cognition. They also process imagery faster than we do, meaning older television sets showing less frames per second would appear "to be flickering like a '1920's movie'", according to Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist from Tufts University. This is why HDTV channels like DogTV are designed for dogs, since the higher framerate and altered colors allows them to have a viewing experience similar to our own.
So you may think your pet is just as absorbed in that favorite Soap Opera as you are, but ultimately dogs are simply watching the visuals pass by, and do not actually know that Sally knows that Brian knows that Sally knows that Brian knows. However, they do recognize what naturally attracts their attention, such as other dogs, animals, and sounds.
Sometimes it also just boils down to the individual. Just like with people, some dogs just can't be bothered with TV, and others jump off the walls when they see animals on screen. This can vary breed to breed, such as that Hounds are scent oriented and tend to concentrate less on visuals, while Herding dogs are more attentive to what they see.
There may be a fair compromise yet for you and your binge watching companion, as long as it involves recognizable animals, and airs in sweet, sweet HD. So put down the leash and pick up the remote
ZG pro team