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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.