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Pet Appeal: Do Dogs and Cats Now Watch TV More?
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One meta-lesson from Youtube is that just about everything I was told as a child about what animals never do turns out to be wrong in at least one example or another. For example, dogs and cats were said to not watch TV. Yet …

Do dogs watch more TV in 2019 than they did in the past? Maybe pet culture is evolving?

In the 1988 movie “Scrooged,” Bill Murray is a TV network executive whose senile boss, Robert Mitchum, wants to lure in the vast yet untapped cat audience with a crime show about detective who is always dangling yarn:

Maybe that wasn’t a joke, and the TV executives’ 20 Year Plan is now working?

Okay, here’s a 2013 BBC article by dog expert Stanley Coren:

Are dogs starting to watch more television?

12 July 2013

A number of new television stations are opening around the world with programming specifically designed for dogs to watch. Does this make sense, asks dog expert Stanley Coren.

Many people report that their dogs completely ignore what is visible on television, while others report that their dogs are often captivated by events on the TV screen. Whether or not a dog pays attention to a TV programme depends upon a number of factors.

One important factor has to do with the way the dog’s eye works. The canine eye is designed to efficiently detect movement. The image on a standard television screen is updated and redrawn 60 times a second. Since a human’s flicker resolution ability is only 55Hz, the image appears continuous and the gradually changing images give us the illusion of movement.

Since dogs can discern flickers at 75Hz, a television screen probably appears to be rapidly flickering to them. A flickering image would obviously appear to be less real, and thus many dogs do not direct much attention to it.

Nonetheless, some dogs ignore the apparent flickering of the TV image and seem to respond to dogs and other images on screen if they are interesting enough.

Recently, changes in technology are beginning to increase the number of dogs that watch television. The increased availability of high-resolution digital screens that are refreshed at a much higher rate means that the images are less likely to appear to be flickering to the canine eye and we are getting more reports of dogs who are very interested in various nature shows that contain images of animals moving.

Or maybe the content of TV has just gotten a lot more interesting to dogs and cats. Maybe in the past TV was mostly human beings talking but now it’s more gorillas fighting T-Rexes:

Actually, you could do a test involving the 4 big budget versions of King Kong from 1933 to 2017 and see if they increasingly appeal to pets. I wouldn’t be surprised if movies have gotten more animalistic in their appeal.

I’m actually serious about this idea for experiment. Big budget human cultural products like movies are an interesting subject for social science research, but it’s hard to find human subjects who aren’t already biased by the culture. On other hand, now that animals often enjoy watching TV, it opens up a new set of potential experimental subjects less biased by nurture.

 
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  1. kihowi says:

    That’s because of the higher framerate, steve.

  2. It would be an interesting experiment to take a video clip like this and digitally remove or modify certain elements to see what the dog is actually interested in. Maybe it’s not the ball.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Anonymous
  3. In her last years my mother-in-law spent most of her time in bed watching Turner Classic Movies, with her Jack Russell terrier lying beside her. The dog would start barking whenever a dog appeared on the screen and in scenes when people were upset or arguing with each other, it would whine or growl. I had previously thought that two-dimensional images were meaningless to animals.

  4. I knew three grown siblings who shared a house, and who left their Lab alone during the day while all were at work. She was out in the garage with Minnesota Public Radio’s classical station.

    The voices between pieces are friendly and smooth. I don’t know what she made of the music, though.

  5. anon[535] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder when a smart ad exec will decide to take advantage of people’s pet viewing habits by burring a hypersonic dog whistle into television advertisements at key moments to get their owner’s attention. Imagine some middle-class woman is in her kitchen pouring herself a sherry. Her dog, mesmerized by a high definition shot of a dog chasing a cat, suddenly starts barking. The woman, not hearing the embedded sound, turns to the screen just as it transitions to an image of a product her Amazon Alexa predicts she’ll like based on her purchasing history.

    • Replies: @SFG
  6. Dogs watching TV are like the prisoners in Plato’s cave watching shadows on the wall. See
    https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm

  7. Fuzzy says:

    When I was a kid we had a poodle who liked to listen to the TV. Mom would be out in the kitchen listening to the TV in the next room, and along would come Tina and plop her big fuzzy head against the speaker. Since poodles have drop ears she was muffling it for herself as well as for Mom. Maybe she liked the vibration.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    , @Bruce County
  8. @Chrisnonymous

    One can see that he is definitely following the ball, like the good retriever he is. He is amazingly sharp-eyed and quick about it too. It’s a wonderful video.

  9. Fwiw, someone once told me that the added detail of high-def TV plays a role too. Supposedly, when TV images were composed of only 525 lines, dogs’ eyes and brains could make no sense of them. Now that TV images consist of 1080 lines and more, they seem clear and comprehensible to dogs.

    I love watching videos of dogs watching TV these days. They get really engrossed in it.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @Mr. Anon
  10. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    My cat loved to play an iPad game that essentially fishing for cats

    I was real skeptical and only downloaded it as a joke

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  11. donut says:

    Why did we quarrel , why did we fight ?

  12. SFG says:
    @anon

    Didn’t the Beatles do just this?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @guest
  13. inertial says:

    I admit to having watched the dog channel once for 20 minutes straight. It was mesmerizing.

  14. Other breeds might be less interested in going after the image of a basketball.

    That Golden Retriever is a member of a “race” of dogs that has evolved through careful breeding. Retrievers are good at going and getting things. That’s what they have a tendency to do. Other breeds are good at other things.

    It’s almost as if different races can have different strengths and proclivities.

    Nah.

  15. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    He may be anti black.

  16. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Probably keeping his porn habit on the DL…

  17. @SFG

    Yes. They put a high frequency sound at the end of the Sgt. Pepper album. Humans couldn’t hear it, but supposedly dogs started barking.

  18. beroth says:

    For what it’s worth “King Kong” got a “98% Fresh” on
    “Bulldog Rotten Tomatoes”:

    • Replies: @Pericles
  19. Mr. Blank says:

    This would be a fun subject to study.

    My cats ignore regular TV but seem captivated by video games, almost as if they have some dim grasp of the interactive aspect.

    Also, they’ll sleep peacefully through the sounds of gunshots and explosions and other mayhem coming from my home theater speakers, but if I’m watching a movie or TV show with prominent animal sounds, they’ll immediately perk up.

  20. guest says:

    I don’t exactly know what dogs see when they watch, but they definitely do watch. Some more than others. I have two and one is much more interested than the other. He will run up to the t.v. and bark. She will merely perk up.

    Both respond to sounds and movement, especially the movement of animals like dogs, cats, and horses.

  21. guest says:
    @SFG

    But they didn’t do it to sell anything, the unenterprising buggers.

  22. guest says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    It may be true that the images are more intelligible to them now, but I have witnessed dogs responding to t.v. images long before I owned any high-definition models.

  23. @Reg Cæsar

    bored identity whish he could contribute more to this topic, but his German Shepherd cancelled our cable four months ago.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  24. My cat didn’t care much for TV except when Game of Thrones came on and she couldn’t stop watching.

    • Replies: @guest
  25. My dog doesn’t care for TV, but he is on social media.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  26. OT

    A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General shows that liberals given “white privilege” sensitivity training experience decreased sympathy for poor whites. Via Naked Capitalism:

    “White privilege lessons are sometimes used to increase awareness of racism. However, little research has investigated the consequences of these lessons. Across 2 studies (N = 1,189), we hypothesized that White privilege lessons may both highlight structural privilege based on race, and simultaneously decrease sympathy for other challenges some White people endure (e.g., poverty)—especially among social liberals who may be particularly receptive to structural explanations of inequality. Indeed, both studies revealed that while social liberals were overall more sympathetic to poor people than social conservatives, reading about White privilege decreased their sympathy for a poor White (vs. Black) person. Moreover, these shifts in sympathy were associated with greater punishment/blame and fewer external attributions for a poor White person’s plight. We conclude that, among social liberals, White privilege lessons may increase beliefs that poor White people have failed to take advantage of their racial privilege—leading to negative social evaluations.”

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/05/learning-white-privilege-social-liberal-backlash-trump-20.html

    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
  27. Anon[306] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    “I read your troll’s blog so you don’t have to.”

    Now that you (Steve) have taken the dubious decision to mix it up with the Steven Pinker troll on Twitter (in general you don’t want to give these people oxygen), here is some background on her that I’ve gleaned over the past few months of reading her personal blog, which she recently split into two blogs, one devoted to Pinker.

    — 58-year-old unmarried woman living in New York City

    — Working in web production, technical writing, and the like

    — Single mother, knocked up by boyfriend at 17

    — Lapsed Catholic, married boyfriend, but divorced at 19

    — Never graduated from college, not sure about attendance, but she had a baby, so probably not (nevertheless, reasonably intelligent and literate)

    — Lived on welfare with daughter for awhile until web jobs materialized

    — Ex was Jewish school mate, a loser, drifted into far left extremism; his radical landlord self-immolated herself on a college campus

    — Troll seems to be garden-variety progressive blank slater, not far left (due to ex)

    — Sees therapist, had self-image problems, patronizes dating site, but never goes anywhere, and she usually ends things with a feminist lecture to the would-be suitor

    — In general seems to have a problem with males, throws around “bro” epithet a lot

    — Hobby is off-off-Broadway theater, playwright, production, operates script submission site and podcast, funny lawsuit relating to her theater activities online

    — Main motivation in life seems to be to get the world to understand that STEVEN PINKER IS A RACIST, etc., etc. This has expanded to a seething hatred of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and “bro culture,” including Bernie Sanders (I think she sees her ex in him … her ideal politician is Justin Trudeau); I haven’t been able to figure out why Steven Pinker, but maybe his manerisms trigger memories of her ex?

    — Steve Sailer turned up on her radar due to the inclusion of an article of his about cousin marriage in a science writing anthology edited by Pinker. She tracked down the book, read Sailer’s piece, spent an hour on Wikipedia, and “proved” to herself that Sailer is all wrong … she has one or more blog posts on this.

    —–

    I personally would disengage with her, but if you want to continue, a good strategy would be to attack her hatred of you at the core, by defending the cousin marriage hypothesis with evidence … maybe a new Taki article on it. Bone up on her objections before doing this (she found some stats she cites). I don’t think you’re going to convince her, but to onlookers it would be helpful to you. The post on her Pinker blog that she just put online about you, whcn read by a neutral party, makes her look unhinged. Mostly it’s just appeal to authority, i.e., Malcolm Gladwell. If you calmly refute her with evidence, she looks more unhinged.

    I’m leaving out her name and an URLs. She obsessivly watches her logs for incoming referrer links and checks them out. I’d advise other commenters here to likewise omit URLs.

  28. Anonymous[140] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, considering the downright unadulterated garbage now televized 24/7 by the UK’s legacy broadcaster, ITV, I doubt if any self respecting cat, dog or indeed cockroach, could endure more than one millisecond of it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  29. beroth says:

    Frame rate, and I’d guess hertz, makes a big difference in the reality of whatever is being presented. Perhaps for dogs as well as humans.

    Here’s a cut from “They Shall Not Grow Old,” with corrected frame rate. It makes the subjects seem contemporary, as the viewer immediately connects to the subject matter that was almost impossible at the old standard frame rate.

    Watch as it transforms from the old standard frame rate to the corrected frame rate:

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @ic1000
    , @ben tillman
  30. @inertial

    “Teletubbies” back in the 1990s was a breakthrough in making shows for very young children, like 12 to 24 months.

    I wonder if anybody has ever figured out programing to help people with different kinds of mental illness. I can remember somebody saying The Weather Channel was calming when he was worried about having another manic episode.

  31. Andy says:

    Tv sets have improved so they show much more realistic images than in the 1960s. Dogs probably did not even register images in black and white sets and very little with early color sets.

  32. @bored identity

    bored identity whish he could contribute more to this topic, but his German Shepherd cancelled our cable four months ago.

    Gotta watch where they bury those bones.

  33. Mr. Anon says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    Our dogs never paid any attention to the TV, but then we had, until recently, a low-def CRT screen.

    I have noticed that nearly every third commercial seems to feature a dog now, regardless of what the product being advertised is. I assumed this was just because a lot of people like dogs, and a commercial with a dog in it will hold a lot of people’s attention more than one without.

    Every third commercial now also seems to feature an inter-racial (black/white) couple. Every sixth or seventh commercial seems to feature a gay couple. This is not a preference-pull effect, as is the case with the dog-commercials. This is a push-effect – a conditioning.

  34. Pericles says:
    @beroth

    The T.Rex is okay but the next one looks sketchy.

  35. Anon[329] • Disclaimer says:

    “58-year-old unmarried woman living in New York City … patronizes dating website but it never goes anywhere.”

    Talk about a walking stereotype. TFR of these types is around 1.2 when interracial births are counted. Just think, within a couple of generations this personality type will be so rare as to qualify it as a mental illness. Your grandchildren will live in a better, saner world.

  36. @inertial

    I haven’t tried the Dog Channel yet. But I confess to being strangely fascinated by the animated traffic channel that plays muzak while zooming in and around a computer generated map of the greater LA area, showing average traffic speeds in red or green.

  37. Mr. Anon says:
    @beroth

    I very much want to see this movie.

    I don’t think Peter Jackson is a good director. I hated The Lord of the Rings. I thought it a wasted opportunity. In the hands of a good director, it could have been great. I thought it was maudlin dreck. I liked his version of King Kong better, although I still found it tedious.

    But good on him for undertaking this task of bringing the soldiers of WWI back to life.

    • Replies: @captflee
  38. @Steve Sailer

    “Teletubbies” back in the 1990s was a breakthrough in making shows for very young children, like 12 to 24 months

    Blue’s Clues (speaking of dogs) made the most of young children’s propensity to view the same thing over and over. Their Monday show was repeated through Friday.

    The kids love it, and it cut production costs 80%!

    Topping that, VocabuLarry on the BabyFirst network uses a plug-in template. They just change one object and one word every “episode”.

    Now that’s lazy!

  39. Mr. Anon says:
    @International Jew

    My dog doesn’t care for TV, but he is on social media.

    In addition to the “Reply, Agree/Disagree, LOL” boxes, Mr. Unz should add a box for “Who’s a Good Doggie?”

  40. @Steve Sailer

    All TV shows are made for the mentally ill 🙂

  41. Anonymous[380] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s a crying shame because, back in the day, ITV gave us such great shows and performers as Benny Hill, Kenny Everett, Mr. Bean, Bob Monkhouse, Bruce Forsyth, On the Buses, George and Mildred, Man About the House, The Rising Damp, Love Thy Neighbour, World in Action, The World at War, Survival etc etc etc.

    Now it is just pure trash run by idiots for idiots.

  42. Anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    “I don’t think Peter Jackson is a good director. I hated The Lord of the Rings.”

    Well, those movies very closely followed the books. If you like his adaptation of Kong better, it’s probably because he had more creative freedom in the narrative. Honestly, I always thought the Tolkien books were overrated: good world-building but two dimensional characters and lots of wasted pages and narrative flow interruptions (too many awkward songs and the whole Tom Bombadil arc at the beginning, which Jackson wisely removed from the movies while also providing for a more satisfactory ending; despite conventional wisdom, movies are often better written than their source material).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Mr. Anon
  43. @Anon

    I’m looking forward to The Editor’s Cut of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” in which a disinterested professional editor trims about an hour off the 3-hour runtime.

    My dog agrees.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  44. Dog reacts in sympathy with cartoon characters.

    Chimp browsing Instagram.

    • Replies: @Neuday
  45. Now that some TV sets project images at 120 Hz, above the dog threshold for persistence of vision, will there be a Flynn effect on dog IQ? How do you devise an IQ test for dogs, anyway? I’m sure experience dog breeders and handlers could help us out—the relative intelligence of dog breeds seems well understood in an anecdotal, general sense.

    By the way, I wonder how dogs perceive and process the discontinuities and cuts in video and film? Does it confuse them hopelessly? Would they respond differently to long, uninterrupted single take video material as compared to the jumpy videos and films humans watch?

  46. Anon[324] • Disclaimer says:

    Moderns forget how unnatural film is. If you read up on how people reacted to various developments such as camera framing, pans, zooms, and other camera movement, tight closeups, multiple camera angles, cross cuts, fades, various movie grammar to indicate dream sequences and flashbacks, Odessa Steps-style montage sequences, and so on, it took the audience a little while to get used to each development.

    Are dogs understanding any of this stuff that wasn’t that trivial for humans to understand?

    At the very least, I think that dogs get it better than cats. Dogs seem to believe that the stuff on the television is happening … somewhere. But cats seem to want to tap the side of the television or look behind the screen, thinking more literally that miniature creatures live in the box or behind the screen.

  47. anon[774] • Disclaimer says:

    “in which a disinterested professional editor trims about an hour off the 3-hour runtime.”

    Ironically, Jackson sort of did that with his Lord of the Rings movies despite their overall length; he did the opposite for his newer Hobbit trilogy. My observation (theory) has been that movies tend to be getting longer as a result of streaming services like Netflix, although Jackson’s Kong obviously doesn’t apply here because it was made so long ago. Movies like the newest Blade Runner and Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy are possibly longer nowadays because filmmakers realize that people are more willing to see longer movies from their couches through streaming services. In the past before streaming, I saw quite a number of failed/forgotten but passable action movies that I thought could use another 10 minutes, in addition to the standard 90 minutes, to better establish the premise. Either that or Hollywood is getting lazy. But if you are interested in fan edits that drastically reduce the run time of popular movies, here’s a pretty effective trim of The Last Jedi: https://archive.org/details/thepiratebay-19660049_201809

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  48. @anon

    Most recent movies are plenty long. Jurassic Park III in the early 2000s wasn’t long enough, but that was a long time ago.

  49. @PiltdownMan

    By the way, I wonder how dogs perceive and process the discontinuities and cuts in video and film? Does it confuse them hopelessly? Would they respond differently to long, uninterrupted single take video material as compared to the jumpy videos and films humans watch?

    I think you’re really onto something here. I’ve often wondered about the effect of the mechanics of current consumer video on human thinking processes. Spend endless hours immersed in a world in which a couple of seconds is a really lingering look, and the cuts mostly happen faster, and what does that do for (or to) your propensity, or even your ability, to think in a rational, linear, cause-and-effect way?

    Since I’m an old curmudgeon, I don’t have to tell you what my intuitive answer to that question is.

    Watch as little teevee as possible. Hell, your cats and dogs are better off without that crap, too.

    Now, excuse me for a moment. Gotta go outside. Them damn kids won’t stay off my lawn!

  50. @Anon

    At the very least, I think that dogs get it better than cats. Dogs seem to believe that the stuff on the television is happening … somewhere. But cats seem to want to tap the side of the television or look behind the screen, thinking more literally that miniature creatures live in the box or behind the screen.

    I’ve noticed that, too. I wonder if cats are predatory in a more immediate or direct way than what dogs are. Might be that a cat’s first thought would translate to, “Can I kill that? Can I eat that? Bet it’s all full of blood and stuff. Mmmmmm.”

  51. ic1000 says:
    @beroth

    > Here’s a cut from “They Shall Not Grow Old,” with corrected frame rate.

    Wow. That’s great, thanks for posting the clip. For Western Civilization, WWI was the pivotal event of the 20th Century. Making it more accessible to people might lead to reflection on its consequences; many iSteve commenters can draw straight lines that start there, and run to the intellectual deformities of The Current Year.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  52. Whitney says:

    My experience has been that the majority of dogs don’t seem to look at the TV but the minority that do look at the TV ignore all people but anytime an animal of any sort pops up they immediately fixate on the TV.

  53. @Digital Samizdat

    Steve’s been there, done that…pay more attention.

  54. My dog like PBS News Hour. My cats, OTOH, seem to prefer old documentaries showing
    NAZI concentration camp footage.

  55. captflee says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I highly recommend seeing the technically impressive and incredibly moving “They Shall Not Grow Old”. The last movie I had bestirred myself to actually place my posterior in a theater seat prior to that was 2013’s fine “Rush”, the magnum Opie retelling of the 1976 Niki Lauda/James Hunt battle for the World Driving Championship (not the same named pic directed by my high school classmate back in 1991, although that was also pretty damned good, with a helluva soundtrack), and my support of F1 is such that I would have bought a ticket to anything.

  56. @Steve Sailer

    “Teletubbies” was covert programming designed to mass hypnotize toddlers into gender fluidity, or glenduffity as it is known in the trade.

    Obviously, there is a secret leftist mind control plot underway to confuse our pets. Next thing you know, dogs will be sleeping with cats, and other stuff. It may already be too late.

  57. Neuday says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I would like to see a video of a chimp watching WorldStarHipHop videos.

  58. Tex says:

    On days when it’s cold and gray and no birds are coming to the feeder, I will put on youtube videos of birds which the cat will watch with some interest. She prefers watching live ones through the window, but the TV ones will do in a pinch.

    They are actually labeled “Videos for Cats”.

  59. @Anon

    At the very least, I think that dogs get it better than cats. Dogs seem to believe that the stuff on the television is happening … somewhere. But cats seem to want to tap the side of the television or look behind the screen, thinking more literally that miniature creatures live in the box or behind the screen.

    You may have it backwards.

    Which is more reasonable, to believe that what is on the screen is somehow real, or to investigate what is inside or behind the screen, to look for what IS real?

    I tried this experiment on my first German Shepherd, when I was about 15 years old:

    I stood a large mirror on its stand on the living room floor. Then I called my dog to stand and look at the mirror. He looked at his reflection, that other dog. He looked intently and examined the other dog for a moment — and then he walked around to the other side of the mirror to find that other dog.

    Now, some will say this is an example of lack of self-awareness. They will say this merely because the dog does not conform to their human understanding of what a mirror does, but is the dog really that stupid for not believing in the illusion and, rather, investigating what is going on?

    Once my dog found out that there was not a dog behind the mirror, he simply ignored the mirror and the image. (Note: He had good experience with windows. That living room had floor-to-ceiling ones, and often he would see me through them from outside and gently tap on the glass to get my attention. He wanted me to come outside.

    So, as far as he was concerned, the mirror was just another window, with another dog on the other side. That is an intelligent conclusion, based on experience.

  60. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anon

    Well, those movies very closely followed the books.

    Yes, they did. But very poorly. The tone of them was all wrong. The characters were overly emotional. And the shaky-cam and swoopy video-game graphics made the movie almost unwatchable.

    ……..despite conventional wisdom, movies are often better written than their source material.

    Not more often than not. And certainly not in the case of LOTR. I would rather watch Ralph Bakshi’s animated version of LOTR than Peter Jackson’s live-action version. It adhered better to the spirit of the books.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  61. Mr. Anon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I’m looking forward to The Editor’s Cut of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” in which a disinterested professional editor trims about an hour off the 3-hour runtime.

    That would probably be a pretty good movie.

    With a lot of movies you want to see the “Director’s Cut” which usually has more stuff in it. With Jackson’s movies they should issue special DVDs with the “Editor’s Cut” with less.

  62. @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, most importantly, how did the dog vote? Was she a black Lab, who was AA’ed into Obedience School or a Yellow Lab that overachieved?

  63. Reg, most importantly, how did the dog vote? Was she a black Lab, who was AA’ed into Obedience School or a Yellow Lab that overachieved?

    A yellow who bit a jogger. I guess that qualifies her as a “wigger”.

    Worse yet, the suburban authorities forced them to enclose the yard in chain link fence. And few things are more ghetto than chain link.

  64. baythoven says:
    @Fuzzy

    When I was a kid we had a poodle (white standard) that liked to listen to me playing the piano. Even when other family might be in the den, it was a sure thing that if I started playing, she would soon be lying down next to the piano and me. I liked to think she was a music-loving doggy, but then she showed no discrimination between good music-making and boring redundant practice.

  65. @PiltdownMan

    How do you devise an IQ test for dogs, anyway?

    John Bradshaw goes into this in his outstanding book Dog Sense.

    discontinuities and cuts in video and film? Does it confuse them

    Maybe not. The philosopher Thomas Nagel speculates that animal consciousness is a little like our (human) experience of dreaming: things happen, we have feelings about them, we react to them… Also a lot of stuff doesn’t make sense, but that doesn’t bother us much!

  66. @Buzz Mohawk

    a high frequency sound…Humans couldn’t hear it, but supposedly dogs started barking

    I think the reverse — high frequencies being absent — explains some of a dog’s disengagement with TV. That is, to a dog, most stuff on TV just doesn’t sound enough like it does in real life, to be recognizeable. You can experience that yourself if you fiddle with an audio equalizer.

  67. Alden says:

    Here’s how to unghetto a chain link fence.

    First get some rustolimeun dark, not light or medium green paint and give the fence a couple coats. Then plant some flowering vines or bushes and tie the vines or branches horizontally to the fence to espalier them. You can do U C or other shapes. Roses are great to mix in. Foliar feed often for the most blooms. That’s a 1/4 cup fertilizer for flowers one gallon of water and spray it on the vines and branches. You can plant grapes and tomatoes on the inside of the fence where the neighbors can’t take them.

    Don’t plant ivy or wisteria or anything aggressive. Morning glory vines and nasturtiums are a good start. You can tear them out when the roses clematis hibiscus geraniums whatever gets established Yes, you can espalier geraniums and climbing roses.

    Check gardening books for your climate and look around your neighborhood for what does best.
    Other alternative is to buy that bamboo fencing and some wire, cut the wire into a zillion 8 inch lengths and wire the bamboo fence to the link fence One to 2 days work for 2 people. Then buy marine varnish and slather a couple coats on the bamboo. Otherwise it turns gray weathered and shabby

  68. songbird says:

    I was once discombobulated to see something like “videos cats like” in my Youtube suggestions. Turns out I looked up some migratory bird to see if I was identifying it right.

    I have never known a dog to be much interested in TV. I’ve wondered about dogs and phones – whether they can identify a voice on a phone and link it to a person. So far, no obvious clue of recognition in my experiments – I figure that they might remove certain frequencies to compress the signal. But I have heard bomb dogs often have radios in their vests, so they can distantly respond to their handlers’ commands.

  69. @Fuzzy

    I once had a girlfriend named Tina….. she liked vibrators…

  70. Issue credit cards to dogs. The number of shows and news channels, designing content around the preferences of dogs, will skyrocket along with the dog food sponsors. The commercials will feature nothing but idyllic canine family scenes and hottie dogs, showing off their bods. News segments will include all-dog panels, with dogs in minority breeds voicing their grievances and celebrity dogs, hawking their wares.

  71. AusReader says:

    If anyone is going to try this experiment, insist on 2K/4K at 120Hz.

    I remember reading about experiments with cuttlefish back in the 1970s (?). Cuttlefish communicate by changing skin color patterns, so seemed reasonable that they would respond to recorded or simulated patterns on TV sets. No, they weren’t. Same experiment tried again with 21st C displays, yes they are. Old style TV must have been like us trying to listen to somone on a radio with very bad static.

  72. Maybe they should come up with dog video games that interact with the dog by responding to his barks and movement.

  73. @Mr. Anon

    With the exception of Elijah Wood, Jackson did a pretty damn good job, especially with Gamgee who was the heart of the story. Tolkien would have appreciated that.

    The Hobbit series is another story.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @TWS
  74. @beroth

    Good find. Thanks for sharing.

  75. Bill Murray warned us about dogs and cats years ago ….

  76. Mr. Anon says:
    @Desiderius

    The casting wasn’t bad, aside from the Hobbits (I didn’t like any of them other than Ian Holm). It was just everything else that was off – the writing, the direction, the music. They were pretty crappy movies – it was a lost opportunity. Ridley Scott and a competent writer would have done a much better job of it.

  77. TWS says:

    We had a cat that loved basketball. Oddly there were a couple computer games she would insist I play. She liked the action and sounds. The little cat would move the mouse or try to move my hand. We’ve had one other cat like TV the dogs could care less unless wolves were howling or fighting.

  78. TWS says:
    @Desiderius

    When Jackson has free rein he Jackson’s it up. Make him follow a script and he does better. He can cast for comedy but he got lucky on the Lord of the rings.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  79. @TWS

    The Lord of the Rings, unlike much of the Silmarillion, is a comedy. We’re living through the Akallabêth, which is as tragic as it gets.

  80. Alex-CA says:

    Dogs seem to believe that the stuff on the television is happening … somewhere. But cats seem to want to tap the side of the television or look behind the screen, thinking more literally that miniature creatures live in the box or behind the screen.

    That’s my Shih Tzu watching DogTV in the tweet that Steve posted. When visiting my parents, whose TV is mounted on a partial wall that doesn’t go all the way across the living room, he has sometimes run around to the other side of the wall when an animal comes on TV, as though he believes the TV is a window.

    The DogTV channel costs $5 per month, I guess because there’s no point in advertising to dogs.

    I sometimes take him to work when nobody’s going to be home during the day. To keep him from getting bored because I can’t play with him whenever he wants, I occasionally set up my tablet on the floor with a “TV for dogs” channel on YouTube. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp5lI5mnczB

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