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What Do Dogs Like To Watch On TV

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs may enjoy watching cartoons with high-pitched voices and motion, as it can simulate baby talk and excitement.
  • Dogs enjoy watching moving animals on TV, as they have better nocturnal vision and are sensitive to motion.
  • Dogs have a higher flicker fusion rate than humans, meaning they can see more frames per second on TV.
  • Dogs can be influenced by music on TV, but it is best to choose relaxing music that won't startle or agitate them.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Tuesday 13 December 2022
Last updated on
Monday 31 July 2023
What Do Dogs Like To Watch On TV?
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Sometimes you will notice your dog staring intently at the television with curious eyes. Yet, other times they will just lay on the floor or couch without glancing at the show. You will wonder what kind of tv shows dogs like to watch. Let’s get a grasp of what sparks the interest of our four-legged family members. 

What Type of TV Shows Do Dogs Like to Watch? 

Humans and dogs process moving images differently. Dogs have a flicker fusion rate of 70-80 frames per second. It is 25% higher than us. So, whatever we perceive as moving, may look choppy to dogs if the flicker rate is lower. 

Good thing the new-technology televisions now process more images per second compared to old ones. So, dogs can now enjoy motion pictures as we do. However, you may notice that they prefer to stand near the TV. It is because dogs’ visual acuity is not as clear as humans. 

If our normal eyesight is 20/20, for dogs, it’s 20/75. The maximum distance for them to see is 20 feet. This visual capacity is comparable to a near-sighted person who needs glasses to see objects from afar. Yet, even with this disparity, both you and your furry pal can still enjoy the same show together

So, what do dogs like to watch? Let’s discuss what to put on tv for dogs:

Animals in Motion

Dogs are gifted with better nocturnal vision compared to humans. They have more rods in their retinas. Aside from seeing clearly in the dark, these extra features in their eyes make them more sensitive to moving objects. And what’s more interesting to your pet’s eyes? Moving animals! Not just that, they can also distinguish dogs from other species. So why not try playing films with running dogs like Marley and Me or A Dog’s Life?  You can also choose some kinds of shows from the best YouTube channels for dog lovers and dogs. 

Landscape or Nature 

Who doesn’t love the relaxing sight of lush fields or soothing running waters? Even your pooch would love to feel the invigorating vibe of a natural landscape. After all, they like to run in vast meadows. So this is the closest they can get while staying indoors with you. Pick some National Geographic or Animal Planet documentaries that showcase waterfall landscapes, blue seascapes, and shores. 


Dogs can relate to what we feel when listening to musicLikeke us. The music can influence their mood. Have you ever noticed how they fear horror because of the intense sound? Choose relaxing music on your TV for your pooch to enjoy. Stay away from sounds that may startle or agitate your dogs. That would make their TV showing experience unpleasant. Classic Mozart musicals can help create a soothing atmosphere for your pet. 


Many dog owners treat their pets as their babies. They even speak to them in high-pitched voices. This also gets their tails wagging in excitement. In the same way, cartoon shows often use high-pitched voices and baby language. Your dog will likely enjoy this genre, especially if he is used to your “baby talk.” Also, some cartoons use motion, like when Gerry is running away from Tom. You can also try playing Bolt or 101 Dalmatians for your dog’s entertainment. 

Sports or Actions 

What do most sports activities have in common? Balls! The one thing your dog’s eyes are glued on. So if you play sports shows with balls, you’ll be amazed at how they can focus on that tiny ball on the screen. And since they are sensitive to motion, the fast jumps and sprints of the players would also be a delight to your dog’s vision. Just make sure they won’t lunge on your tv. Watch the next NBA season or football games, and your dog will appreciate the show too. Level it up and choose dog agility shows, and your pooch will surely be delighted! 

The Colors 

Dogs have dichromatic vision. This means they can only see shades of two colors which are blue and yellow. Colors like red, green, and orange are not visible to dogs. Instead, they will see them as gray hues. When choosing a tv program for your dog, pick the ones with a lot of blue and yellow colors. Otherwise, he would be uninterested in the monotonous look on the tv. Movies with snow-themed movies with blue skies like Walt Disney’s Iron Will or Eight Below may appeal to your pet. Bonus tip: these movies are stories of dogs, too.

Can Dogs Tell That TV Isn’t Real? 

Dogs enjoy the sounds and motion from the television. But, one very important thing is missing in the picture. The familiar scents in what they see. As we all know, dogs use their sense of smell more than their other senses. According to a new study, dogs’ noses are connected to their visual and cognitive activities. The research explained that dogs process images in the brain and convert them into memory based on the scent they smell. 

This disconnect between their vision and olfaction would likely let the dog know what’s on tv isn’t real. Although, it is hard to tell if this is exactly what going on in their minds. Some dogs may still perceive televisions as the same as windows.  

Why Do Some Dogs Watch TV and Others Don’t? 

Same to humans, dogs have different tv show preferences. Various contents or themes affect the shows dogs love to watch. For example, news on TV may not interest dogs, unlike programs showing the speed of motion or people playing games. And as mentioned, colors also affect a dog’s reaction too. Their lack of interest in some shows may be due to the boring hues of gray they see.

The breed of the dog may also influence their attention to the television. Dogs with high prey drive, like the Doberman, will more likely be attracted to fast-moving objects or animals on TV. On the other hand, dogs with calm temperaments will likely enjoy relaxing views or sounds of the show.  Even within a breed, dogs may still have unique individual personalities. Some are smart and picky on shows, while others are easily fooled. 

What Do Dogs Like To Watch On TV: FAQs 

According to a survey by Rover, 70% of pet parents love to watch shows comfortably at home with their dogs. Enjoying tv shows have also become part of the daily routines of dog. Let’s check out some frequently asked questions about TV watching and dogs: 

What does a dog see when he watches TV?

Dogs can see what we see on our television. They see the same action and hear the same sound because newer TV sets now process more images per second. But dogs don’t see the same colors, though. Because of their dual-color vision, they can only see the shades of yellow and blue. 

Do dogs like the TV left on?

Leaving the television on provides your dog with background noise, especially when he is alone at home. This helps him cope with separation anxiety. The sound on the TV gives a sense of security instead of just dealing with dead silence alone. Check out which programs your dog is comfortable with and play them on TV when you leave. 

Is it bad if my dog watches TV?

Watching TV can be beneficial to your dog. It keeps them company while you are away, making them feel relaxed. But, don’t use the television as a replacement for regular dog activities such as playing and walking outside. Limit their screen time so they would not become too reactive or excited and end up knocking the TV out. If done in moderation, TV watching is not bad for dogs. 

Do dogs prefer music on TV or silence?

Silence makes dogs feel lonely, especially when you are not in the house. Music can help them feel less alone. Relaxing music promotes relaxation, especially when they are anxious. It also helps filter out unpleasant noise outside that may disturb your dog. Dogs may prefer music over silence, but it also depends on the kind of music you play. 

Do dogs like to watch TV when alone?

Dogs would opt to have the TV on rather than suffer the silence of being alone at home. The sound from the TV will keep their brain occupied. In contrast, the view on the screen can serve as their window to another world. But, dogs would like it more when you are in their company with or without the TV. 

With their head tilts and raised ears, you’d know dogs are getting curious or enjoying the shows on the TV. HD technology shows are much clearer to you and your dog. Not only that, TV networks have started offering doggy channels with shows dedicated to your darling pooches. Now, the entire family can sit and relax, including the four-legged members. 

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