What Do Dogs See When They Watch TV?

Have you ever spent an evening with your family watching television and had your dog join you? If yes, did you wonder what dogs even see when they watch TV?

One company in the UK aired a commercial for dog food in 2012 that was created specifically to attract the dogs. The commercial included high pitch sounds that people can’t hear and had a goal to captivate the dogs so their owners would pay attention and get them that specific brand of dog food. That didn’t work as they imagined and left everyone wondering if dogs even react to TV at all.

Dogs pretty much see TV as a part of the real world. They see it in the same colors as they do the world around them (dichromatic – yellow and blue). They react to similar content, like commands, other dogs barking, etc. A 2013 study found that dogs are able to recognize other dogs on screen.

When it comes to content not related to dogs, they don’t really show interest, as shown in another study.