As dog owners, we love to relax and chill in front of the TV with our furry companions. While flipping through the channels, trying to find something to hold our interest, we stop on a station, and suddenly a barking dog appears.
Our companion, up to this point, has been snoozing in our lap, pretty much dead to the world. However, when the dog on the TV starts barking that all changes in an instant. Suddenly, that once obliviate canine is now up on all fours, tail wagging, and interjecting is own opinion into the conversation.
Recently, Hank Green, host of the YouTube channel Sci Show, posed the question, “What Do Dogs See When They Watch TV?” This answer really comes as no surprise to anyone who has had a furry companion at some point in their lives. Scientists have confirmed that YES, dogs most probably are watching TV when we do however, what they “see” is not quite what we humans see.
Hounds, for instance, are a hunting breed and as a result, are more scent based. With this in mind, it only follows that a smell-free TV screen will hold little interest for them. With other breeds, such as those utilized in herding, they will be more attentive and reactive to any moments occurring on the screen.
Now, when it comes to what dogs actually visualize when they watch TV had been shown to differ from what humans envision in two ways. Today’s televisions have a continuous film rate of 16-20 images per second, which is referred to as “flicker fusion frequency.” This constant rate is much less than what most canines require to maintain their interest, which is 70-80 images per second.
Dogs also perceive colors very differently than humans do. Whereas humans have three color receptors, canines only have two. What this essentially means is that dogs see the world only in shades of yellow and blue. Dogs also have a different perception of details, meaning a dog’s vision tends to be blurrier than humans.