Hitting the Paws Button: TV Channel For Dogs Debuts

Starting August 1, there will officially be a cable channel for everything. That’s when DOGTV becomes available nationwide, giving bored canines all over the country something to do while their owners are away.

Just to be clear, this is not a channel for dog lovers. It’s a channel for dogs. Or if you prefer, it’s a channel for dog owners who feel guilty about leaving their beloved pets home alone all day while they’re at work. It beats turning on the radio, right?

Poodle wearing bath robe with paw on TV remote
Doggy remotes have yet to be developed.

The channel, which is available through DirecTV, offers canine-friendly programming in short 3-6 minute segments. Each segment falls into one of three categories:

Relaxation segments show peaceful scenes that encourage the dog to chill out and do what he would probably be doing without DOGTV – namely, sleep.

Stimulation segments include images of other dogs roughhousing, chasing balls, and generally having a big-old time.

Exposure segments are designed to de-sensitize the dog to everyday situations that can trigger problem behavior (such as thunderstorms).

When you think about it, a cable channel for dogs makes a lot of sense. Dogs have a lot of time on their paws. Cable TV is the greatest time-waster known to man. It seems like a perfect match.

The only problem is, most dogs don’t seem very interested in television – even when other dogs are on (or squirrels!). This is especially true of older TV sets, which have frame rates that are too low to fool the canine eye. But even with modern digital TVs, many dogs still don’t seem to give a rip about what their humans are watching.

Of course, that could be because all the programming currently on TV is produced for human consumption. In contrast, the makers of DOGTV say their programming is designed from the ground up to appeal to dogs. Besides the doggie-centric subject matter, that means different (lower) camera angles, sounds, contrast, and colors.

DOGTV’s website warns that due to all these differences, the channel may look weird. In other words, it may be as unappealing to humans as regular TV often is to dogs.