Monday, May 21, 2012

TV channel for dogs...!!

 Bleu, a French bulldog watches DogTV with owner
 Maria Catania in San Diego.
Dogs have starred in TV shows and movies for decades, but while those shows might feature dogs or be about dogs, they weren’t created for dogs.

But now man’s best friends have their very own cable television channel. Call DogTV a new breed of television. It’s eight hours of programming a day meant to keep your dog relaxed and entertained while doggie “parents” are at work or school.
To get the right footage, cameramen got on their knees to shoot at a dog’s eye level. “I shot from the point of view of the dog,” said Gilad Neumann of DogTV.

The programs also have music specially written for dogs.

Right now, DogTV is only available in San Diego, California. But it is so popular that it might be offered nationwide in the next few months.

Bleu, a year-old French bulldog, has been watching for a month and snorts and grunts his approval, owner Mary Catania of San Diego said.

“I always feel guilty leaving him alone all day when I’m at work,” Catania said. “He’s like my kid. I don’t have any children, so I really treat him like my child. Anything that makes him happy makes me happy.”

For years, pet owners have been leaving a television or radio on when they go out so their pets have company, said Nick Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

But Dodman said that according to research on the dog brain, with analog television, dogs could see only a flickering screen. New technologies such as digital TV, high-definition cameras, and enhanced production have changed the way dogs perceive the images, while big screens allow them to see from anywhere in a room, Neumann said.

Do dogs understand what they’re watching? Dodman said research is ongoing, but it appears that dogs not only recognize other dogs on TV, they may even respond differently to their own breed. Dogs can see blue and yellow but not red and green, so colors are altered for DogTV, too.

What you won’t find on DogTV are the sounds that blare on regular TV: no gunshots, no explosions, no heavy metal music, Neumann said.

So what will you (or your dog) find on DogTV?

Relaxation segments feature sleeping dogs and nature scenes accompanied by dog lullabies. Stimulation includes dogs running, playing and surfing, animation and a lot of panting. That’s designed to get a dog moving, even if it is home alone.

There has been a lot of feedback from viewers saying their cats like the show as well as their dogs, Neumann said. CatTV may be added later, but DogTV is strictly for the dogs, he said.

The Escondido Humane Society in California plays DogTV videos.

“We handle 5,000 animals a year. We get high-energy, big dogs that need to calm down. . . . We saw almost immediate results,” said development director Jean Loo-Russo.

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