Why Do Pugs Watch TV And What Do They See

Have you ever noticed your Pug paying attention to the TV when it’s on? Maybe you’ve noticed they react differently when they see other dogs or animals on the screen? Today, we’re going to answer the question “why do Pugs watch TV and what do they actually see?”

Why Do Pugs Watch TV And What They See?

The short answer is dogs can perceive images and sounds coming from the television. According to National Geographic, dogs’ eyes register images at a much faster pace than we do.

Basically, they don’t register your favorite sitcoms the same as you do. In fact, they prefer watching on-screen animals as opposed to cartoons.

why do pugs watch tv

According to a study published in Animal Cognition Journal, dogs can tell the difference between a real dog and a cartoon character like Scooby-Do or Odie.

When a dog watches TV, they perceive only colors on the blue and yellow spectrum. Dogs have a dichromatic vision, while humans see a full range of colors.

If you were to look through your dog’s eyes, you’d notice that everything they see appears yellow, brown, blue or gray.

To give you an idea of what Pugs see, I ran the following photo through a Dog Vision Processing Tool. You’ll notice how colorful the fall background is, but to your dog, it looks gray and yellow.

what dogs see
This is what dogs see compared to humans.

How Dogs See Compared To You

  • Dogs see through a dichromatic vision, which is a range of two primary colors blue and yellow. Humans have a trichromatic vision, which includes a full range of colors including green and red.
  • Canines register moving images faster than humans.
  • Today’s advanced television technology and HD TV screens make it easier for dogs to watch television. On older television sets, it was like your dog was watching a flickering “1920s movie.” The newer televisions have a much higher number of frames per second, making it much easier for TV watching dogs.
  • Dogs require 70 images a second in order to view something as continuously in motion, while we only require 20.
  • Some breeds such as Terrier breeds tend to pay more attention to the television screen than other breeds.
  • They can see in the dark better than us.

Dog Breeds That Love Watching Television

While NOT all Pugs will enjoy watching TV, and it definitely is not the best quality of entertainment for your pooch. However, it can be a great way to bond with your Pug, especially, if you let them sit on your lap.

Your pooch may not show any interest in “Grey’s Anatomy” but when you turn the channel to Animal Planet or DogTV, they may love it.

However, there are some dog breeds that suffer from canine TV addiction than others and they are:

Whippets and Terriers: This is because they traditionally rely on their eyes to hunt.

Do Pugs Bark At The TV?

As I mentioned above, every dog will react differently based on their personality. Some dogs bark at the sound of a doorbell, TV, or anything at all.

If your dog hears a dog barking on the television, they will most likely start barking. However, if you set the DogTV to a relaxing channel, they will most likely just be mesmerized by all the different movements, sounds, and objects.

As you know when dogs meet each other for the first time, they sniff each other as a way of greeting. If your dog is jumping and barking at the TV, they may just be trying to greet the pooch on the TV.

Your dog’s reaction will be based on their personal experiences and behavioral patterns. Here’s a sample episode of the relaxation segment from DogTV.

You’ll notice that it has other dogs in it, but they are laying down quiet and this will most likely cause your dog to be mellow too.

Can Dogs Learn From Watching TV?

While dogs are intelligent to perceive onscreen images of animals, you can’t expect them to really learn from it. Some studies have shown that dogs can learn basic obedience commands such as “stand up, lie down, and sit” from videos and TV.

Dogs tend to learn better from people and voices they are familiar with.

Dogs that enjoy watching television prefer the sounds of other barking dogs, whining, squeaky toys, and people giving praise and dog-friendly commands.

While some dogs may learn basic commands, you will still need to spend time training your pooch properly.

Many experts believe that puppies can benefit the most from watching television. It can help young dogs become accustomed to our modern world.

Their small developing brain will become accustomed to hearing a wide range of different sounds coming from the television. The best thing is, they don’t even need to understand what’s going on.

Should I Leave The TV On For My Dog?

should I leave the TV on for my dog
Leaving the TV on can be beneficial for some dogs.

While it’s okay to let your Pug watch TV, as long as they are getting enough exercise and attention. The TV won’t harm your dog, and it’s better to let your dog watch TV than letting your baby do it.

The important thing to remember is to NOT let your dog turn into a couch potato. As long as your Pug gets 30 minutes of physical activity a day, it should be fine to leave the boob tube on.

Unlike you and I, your dog won’t binge-watch TV. According to Aaron McDonald, an applied canine cognitive behaviorist, a dog’s brain won’t allow them to be hooked on TV. 

They are social creatures that prefer living in the moment and will only watch TV when a picture captures their attention. Once the image is gone, they will usually move on.

Many people let their dogs watch TV. In fact, you can find several YouTube videos of dogs watching TV on iPhones, iPads, HD TVs and etc.

Most dogs prefer to watch TV on a large screen that is eye level so they don’t have to look up.

While it’s okay to let your Pug watch TV, it’s important to remember that a TV is not a replacement for companionship or healthy activities.

Leaving the TV on can be a great way to help your dog deal with separation anxiety while you’re away at work or throughout the day.

DogTV for Dogs

If your Pug enjoys watching TV, you may want to consider an HDTV cable channel that is designed specifically for canines. It has a much higher number of frames per second and is specifically colored to accommodate a dog’s dichromatic vision.

Think of it as Netflix for canines. The programs on DogTV consist of three main components for your pooch, exposure, relaxation, and stimulation.

Relaxation segments: consist of soothing music with animals such as horses, dogs, and etc. Here’s a list of some of the best soothing music for Pugs.

Stimulation segments consist of children playing with squeaky toys, and laser pointers that will keep your dog entertained.

Many dog owners have started paying for subscriptions for their pooches. It can be a great way to calm and entertain your Pug while you’re not home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs See Phone Screens? Most dogs can’t recognize faces on phone screens or tablets, those screens are too small. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t FaceTime or Skype your furbaby when you’re out of town.

They will definitely recognize your voice and may even be comforted by your voice. According to Animal Planet, your voice may sound differently over the phone, so don’t be offended if your pooch doesn’t recognize you at first.

Why Doesn’t My Dog Pay Attention To The TV? Maybe you’re not watching a channel they would be interested in? Both dogs and cats love watching TV, however, it has to be something they are interested in.

References and Further Reading

Science Daily – Dog Spots The Dog: Dogs Recognize The Dog Species Among Several Other Species On A Computer Screen

National Geographic – Liz Langley – Why Do Dogs Watch and React to TV?

Black Pug Site