What Do Dogs See When They Watch TV?

Every dog owner loves to see their pup sitting calmly in front of a television, despite the fact that the little fella probably just sees a mess of colors emitting strange sounds ... or does he?

With high definition and more frames per second, dogs can now see the images on TV as well as they can see the real world.
With high definition and more frames per second, dogs can now see the images on TV as well as they can see the real world.

According to Ernst Otto Ropstad, an associate professor at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, the new, high-definition TVs of today probably allow canines to catch all of the excitement just fine. "Now that modern TVs generate more frames per second, dogs can perceive the pictures as film, just like we do," Ropstad says.

The problem used to be that TVs flashed images at a relatively slow speed, somewhere between 16 and 20 images per second, which made them fine for humans but bad for barkers, who need roughly 70 images per second to see. Modern TVs manage that rate, which means you might want to switch off those dog food commercials if your pup pops into the room.

Dog senses:

  • A dog has around 2 billion olfactory receptors in its nose, compared with a human's 40 million, meaning the dog's sense of smell is about 100,000 times better.

  • When it comes to hearing, a dog's ears are about four times keener than a person's; plus, they can move one ear at a time (go ahead and try).

  • While a dog's sense of touch is similar to a person's, many dogs don't like being touched on the paws. Dogs also have a preference for touching with either their left or right paw.

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    • With high definition and more frames per second, dogs can now see the images on TV as well as they can see the real world.
      With high definition and more frames per second, dogs can now see the images on TV as well as they can see the real world.