Can dogs watch tv?

I’m wondering if they can. My dog never really so much as looks at the television, but then he’s probably just uninterested. Can’t blame him really. Never anything good on. Unless I accidentally plug the tube into my infinite crap portal, of course.

Still, sometimes he gives me this look of curious bafflement, as if wondering what on Yesju’s blue earth would I and the other humans possibly find so interesting in that square against the wall up there.

What say ya’ll?

“For NASA, space is still a high priority.” ~J. Danforth Quayle

My dog has been known to bark at large animals on the TV screen on Animal Planet. This is the only channel she seems to enjoy.

Cats, or so I’ve heard, cannot see two-dimensional images, and to them, a television picture is nothing more than a play of light. I’ve heard that dogs’ eyes differ in that respect. They actually see the image, but aren’t necessarily intersted in it.

Te only question is whether the images * mean * anything to the dog. Dogs rely on more senses than sight alone, gaining information from scent, and the size of the creature. A TV image, while sometimes vaguely intersting, doesn’t smell, and seems very small to a dog, thus, because it’s not interacting with the real world, it’s not very interesting.

My dog is utterly uninterested in images of people, plants, or other small mammals, but is utterly fascinated by bears, elephants, and whales. I’ve theorized that perhaps these creatures are making sub-sonic sounds that she can hear, but I cannot, and that’s what’s catching her attention.

Our dogs will bark at barking dogs on TV, and one of them is often seen gazing intently at the screen. Interpret that as you will.

Can dogs watch TV? Only if you plug it in for them. The lack of opposable thumbs makes that kinda tough for 'em.

Seriously, my dog, and other dogs I’ve seen, go bonkers for crows and other birds on TV.

My cat gets interested in watching the mouse pointer run around the computer screen, too.

An old friend of my dad had a dog which would stare fixedly at the TV. When a person walked off screen, he would walk around the side of the TV, apparently trying to see where the person went.

My old girlfriend’s shih tzu would go nuts with excitement whenever he saw children playing on television. One night a man appeared on the “Stupid Pet Tricks” feature on David Letterman with a pet dog who would run up a stack of tires to retrieve a toy which had been dropped down inside. Her dog watched with intense concentration. On the first try, the dog failed to get all the way up the stack and my girlfriend’s dog, visibly upset, began to whimper. On the second try the dog succeeded, and the shih tzu jumped up and down with joy.

In seven years of cat ownership, I have seen my cats react under only two conditions to a TV. First, their attention is seized with a cat on the television meows. Secondly, they become alarmed if a smoke detector goes off. That is, they seem only to respond to sounds on a television.

My cat chases the mouse pointer all over the screen and also has pawed at tv images.

My dog has never shown any interest at all in any sort of video image and ignores all sounds from the tv except for game show bells and tv doorbells which sound like our doorbell. Images of dogs and sounds of dogs barking on the tv do not seem to register as “real” dogs and are completley ignored.