Can dogs watch TV?

Animal Welfare Specialist
Cathy has worked in the animal welfare field for more than 25 years. As a Director of Public Relations for local and national animal welfare agencies, Cathy developed and managed public relations programs, wrote press materials, and prepared staff to handle media interviews on animal issues.

A reader says her mom’s dog Jack watches TV. “He actually follows objects as they move across the screen and loves animal shows and sports shows that my dad turns on,” she says. “Is this really possible?” 

Many people say their dogs watch TV and it seems they really are following some of the action on the little screen. What Jack is doing is following the movement on the screen — a moving animal or ball that grabs his attention. I am not sure dogs know exactly what they are looking at, but my beloved dog Brinkley used to follow the basketball across the court and a baseball when it was hit to the outfield. Since balls were his favorite toys, I tend to believe he knew what he was watching, since he was jumping at the screen trying to catch the balls.

Sound captivates a dog too, especially when it’s an animal sound, like a dog barking or whining. But most dogs can tell the difference between a real animal and a TV animal since there is no “smell” to go along with it.

One thought on “Can dogs watch TV?

  1. My dog’s favorite is The Price Is Right. He will sit in front of the tv and watch the whole show. He only barks at the sound of the bell. They should have dogs on their show to promote adoption.

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