Welcome to the Alpha Dog Blog. The blog, like a dog, has four legs:
1. Party. It was a very exciting week for all of us, with San Diego continuing to warmly embrace DOGTV. The DOGTV “Star In The Making Party” at Solana Beach was really great (thanks to our partners Muttropolis, KPRI 102.1 fm, and The Dog Shack) with hundreds of dogs – and owners showing up hoping to be the next face of DOGTV . So which one of them will be the lucky pooch? We’ll let you know soon enough. In the meantime, keep sending pics and vids of your dog to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows, you might turn into a celebrity owner!
2. Cartoons. I love the different questions we’re getting, especially about dogs’ reactions to DOGTV programming. Like humans, dogs react differently to different programs, and have their own taste and interests. We all have different television shows we’re interested in (although, let’s admit, we rarely bark at TV shows, other than “Jersey Shore”…). Still, it’s fun to learn about what dog shows dogs enjoy watching. We got a few emails from people saying their dogs enjoy watching cartoons. Debbie Adams from New York noted in her email that not all cartoons are equally fascinating to her dog, and wondered why. Well, Debbie, cartoons could indeed entertain your dog for two reasons: First, if there is a realistically drawn character, especially of a dog, that moves and walks in a realistic way, your dog will be able to identify the drawn character as a dog, and will be fascinated by it. However, the movements of most animated figures, from Goofy to Pluto to Santa’s little helper, are not a precise rendering of a pattern of movements of a real dog, therefore he can’t really get excited by them.
The second reason a dog can be entertained by cartoons would be if there are rapid movements on screen. Dogs are extremely sensitive to motion, and therefore any moving ball, butterfly or object can catch the dogs’ attention. On DOGTV we use lots of animations uniquely created for dogs, to have them stimulated when home alone. Remember, it’s extremely important to stimulate your dogs’ brain and body, which will help him feel good, healthy and stress free.
(Our own animated dog can be now found at the appstore)
3. Humane. If there is one thing we’re proud of, it is the responses from people saying that DOGTV helps their dog feel calm and relaxed. Our Chief Scientist, Professor Nicholas Dodman, loves hearing about dogs with separation anxiety feeling better from DOGTV. There is nothing more important than the opportunity to make dog’s lives better.
That is why Escondido’s Humane Society invited DOGTV to install televisions throughout their shelter. Watching our “Relaxation” programs helps the dogs feel more calm, relaxed, and hopefully adoptable.
In a research conducted in Queen’s University of Belfast, Graham and Wells studied the influence of visual stimulation on the behavior of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. By monitoring 50 dogs in a shelter, they found that “The Behaviour of kenneled dogs is influenced by visual stimulation in the form of television programs”.
In addition, Wells conducted another research titled “The Influence of auditory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter”, and found that “certain types of auditory stimulation may be beneficial for the animals’ welfare”.
After studying carefully these studies – and other related ones, we at DOGTV believe that sheltered dogs can greatly benefit from visual and auditory stimulation, and we are committed to helping sheltered dogs feel happier, more calm, and hopefully more adoptable.
(In the photo: me with Jean Russo, Director of Development, Kathy Warner, Director of Operations and Sally Costello, Executive Director, and Mishka,a lovable dog looking for a home. Thanks to the Escondido HS for this clip)
I’d like to end this blog with something sweet that you can play with. Our new interactive video lets you “Choose Your Dog”, and watch funny moments from some of DOGTV’s programs. I’m sure you’re gonna love this!
Have a great week,