That could not possibly be the first, I've been hearing about nonsense like this for years.
Mine seem to find seeing (or more commonly hearing) other dogs on television intriguing, but not necessarily relaxing. Then again they're very inconsistent. A cat meowing might elicit pricked ears, an elephant moving around might prompt one to get up and sniff the TV screen, but these reactions can't be reproduced and seem almost random.
I can't speak for dogs generally but what mine seem to find most relaxing is running around the backyard then curling up on the couch.
Showed this video to my dog, Whoopsie.
Hard to tell if it had any effect, as she was lounging on the floor from the get-go.
I, however, can say that it was quite nice.
This reminds me of something I once heard on This American Life, The Puppy Channel
My experience is that dogs only watch TV when there are animal noises on it, so relaxing Dog TV is really TV no one watches.
Also, if your dog watches more than 30 seconds of TV a week you are officially among the most boring people in the world.
This came out on DirecTV about a year or so ago, for an extra $5 a month. Watched it for a little bit with the pup during the free weekend; meh.
I do have to wonder, though... BoingBoing getting paid for this piece? Sure looks like advertising to me.
Every time I turn around my dogs are sleeping. I think I'd pay for a channel that un-relaxed them some. Oh... that's my job, drats.
That same free weekend we flipped it over. There was a background scene with a dog-shaped hole in it that had another scene, some trippy trance music and the color palette was shifting over time with the music. I really felt like I'd dropped something for a minute there, and I could only imagine what it'd do to our poor eight month old puppy.
Then again, she's usually acting like she's on a bad acid trip when she's not sleeping, so...
This would be the opposite of relaxing for my Bug. (Boston terrier+Pug)
If she sees or hears another dog on the TV she commences with the loud conversing and general hysterics.
Forget watching animal planet. Or even any show with a dog barking off screen. Unless you are looking for some pseudo immersion surround-pound dog barking...
My friend's dog loves TV, especially wildlife programmes. He likes to yell at zebras.
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