Are dogs really watching the show when they react to what's on TV?

A dog in rapt attention in front of the TV. —

It is both a strange and funny sight to see when you notice that ball of fur you love so much sitting down to watch television with you in the evenings.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your dog tends to watch TV even when you aren’t watching it yourself. They seem to be engrossed in the programming coming across the screen and will even turn their heads from one side to the other, seemingly following the action on the screen.

But are they really seeing what we are seeing? Are they just bored? How does a dog’s eyesight work in comparison to ours? Better? Worse? Let’s dig in to find out!

You aren’t alone in thinking that our dogs can’t be seeing the same thing that we are when watching TV but studies have shown that dogs do see and retain the images that are flashing across the screen.

They do see in a different colour scheme than humans do but they are still seeing the objects moving across the screen – hence the turning of their heads from side to side as they follow the figures.

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Dog behaviour , dogs and TV


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