TV channel for dogs set to launch

DOGTV hopes to relieve some of the separation anxiety experienced by pooches during the day.
DOGTV hopes to relieve some of the separation anxiety experienced by pooches during the day.

Lonely, bored dogs left at home all day while their owners are at work could soon be getting some digital company: a TV channel with programming just for pooches.

DOGTV, a 24/7 channel designed specifically for man’s best friend, will air nationally next month on the U.S. satellite operator DirecTV, with hopes of attracting dogs in some of the 46 million U.S. households that have at least one.

“It is the first and only television channel that is dedicated to our four-legged friends and not to their parents,” Gilad Neumann, the chief executive of the Tel Aviv-based company, said in an interview.

The channel won’t be showing the canine equivalent of “Modern Family,” “Mad Men” or “Downton Abbey,” but will feature programs with music, visuals, animation and the occasional human that are designed to relax, stimulate and ease the loneliness of home-alone pets.

“It’s more than just entertainment for dogs. We are creating more of an environment,” Neumann said of the channel that costs $4.99 a month. “They are bored and many suffer from separation anxiety. What we are trying to do is to give dogs something to focus on in the background.”

Unlike children and adults who can watch TV for hours at a time, Neumann said dogs view the medium differently and will be attracted to it once in awhile when they see something that interests them.

“We have no intention of generating a new generation of couch potatoes out of our dogs,” he added.

While not taking any official position, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) said any relaxation and stimulation for pets is good. But it doubted that all dogs will take to it.

“It could work for some dogs and it might not interest others,” a spokesman for the AVMA said.

David Frei, director of communications at the Westminster Kennel Club and a co-host of its annual dog show, thinks if it can help relieve separation anxiety for pets and their owners then DOGTV is a good thing.

“I get pictures every year from viewers at home (of the dog show) of their dogs watching television, or standing up on their hind legs when they see a dog. It’s kind of cute,” he said.

Neumann said the programs were developed with input from professor Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist and director of clinical sciences at Tufts University in Massachusetts, British dog trainer Victoria Stilwell and animal rights activist and trainer Warren Eckstein, and tested on focus groups.

The images are meant to be compatible with a dog’s vision, and sounds include a range of frequencies tailored to their sense of hearing.

“We’ve seen that dogs are interested in certain colors, certain animations,” he explained, adding that DOGTV is not meant to replace quality time with owners.

The company, which is in talks and planning to launch the channel in other countries, is also contemplating a TV channel for cats.

“They are not as social as dogs so suffer less from being alone,” Neumann said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.