DogTV, Is Your Pet a Fan?

I came across an older article on the benefits of watching television for your dogs. It mentioned a network called DogTV, which delivers 24-hour programming for dogs. The idea, they say, is that flipping on the channel while you go out for the day will keep your pet stimulated, entertained and relaxed.

How have I known about this until today? It is wonderful and my pets enjoy it – I think. Well so do I actually!

The company was launched in Israel in 2009 and currently headquartered in San Francisco, California. Their goal is to make dogs feel happier and more relaxed when home alone. Their content is designed for dogs of all ages, and all breeds. It is supposedly ideal for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety by reducing their stress levels.

Their main contributors are:

  • Prof. Nicholas Dodman – (Chief Scientist) Program Director of Department of Clinical Sciences at the Animal Behavior Tufts University, MA
  • Victoria Stilwell – (Chief Trainer) One of the world’s most recognized and respected dog trainers, and star of TV’s “It’s Me Or The Dog
  • Warren Eckstein – (Chief Pet Psychologist) Animal rights activist, pet trainer and popular radio broadcaster

“DOGTV’s unique and original programming has been scientifically-developed and tested to provide 24-hour, dog-approved content. The channel features programming split into three categories – relaxation, stimulation and exposure to environmental stressors – which work collaboratively to provide the ideal balance for the daily routine of your dogs. DOGTV is available online which means your dog can enjoy the programming at home or on the road.”

DogTV’s 24/7 programming is available as a pay service ($4.99/mo) through DirectTV. You can see their lineup of shows at Channel 354. There is also a Roku app available for mobile or connected devices. For more information, you can also check them out on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or their own website,

The backstory on this network is also quite interesting. Apparently, it took quite awhile for the founders to get off the ground. No one thought it would be as popular as it has become. According to Ron Levi, the founder and chief content officer of DogTV, his cat actually provided the inspiration for this canine-centric idea. Levi felt sad for his kitty who he had to leave at home all day when he went to work. So he filled up a DVD with video of birds and fish and set it up to play on his television. Apparently, “Charlie” was fascinated by the new entertainment. Levi, whose career includes time spent teaching college-level media classes and working as a writer for The Amazing Race, then started wondering about the benefits of watching television for dogs. And the seeds of inspiration for creating DOGTV were planted!

The cat’s name was Charlie, and he belonged to Ron Levi, the founder and chief content officer of DogTV. Charlie passed away not long ago, but Levi adored his kitty and always felt incredibly guilty about leaving him when he went to work. “He gave me the sad eyes saying, ‘It’s not cool leaving me alone all day,’ ” Levi recalls.

So Levi filled up a DVD with video of birds and fish and set it up to play on his television. Charlie loved it. The cat ran to the TV the first time he saw the imagery, and he was transfixed.

After witnessing how much Charlie enjoyed that onscreen entertainment, Levi, whose career includes time spent teaching college-level media classes and working as a writer for The Amazing Race, realized dogs might also respond to and benefit from watching television and got to work creating what would become DogTV.

It took studies of pets actually watching and interacting with the programs to convince producers to take a chance. According to Levi, the company’s initial research revealed that 57% of Americans already left their TV on at home during the day for their pets. However, there was still not very much programming suitable for the four-legged viewer. Networks like Animal Planet were geared toward people who loved animals. “We spent our first three years researching, learning about dog vision and hearing: studies on areas like colours and sound frequencies. Then we produced two hours of content and tested it in a study in LA and New York, where we built security cameras into 38 apartments and monitored dogs watching TV,” he says.

“Dogs are not very cool being home all day by themselves when their parents go to work. They’ve got nothing to do, and boredom causes the destruction of the house and irritation and barking. It’s a real problem, and I thought we could try to help by leaving the TV on–but not just leaving the dog to sit and watch like a couch potato. That’s seriously not the idea,” Levi says. “We want to try to use the television to entertain them and also relax them and make them feel better.”


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Personally, I find it truly fascinating that some dogs react very strongly to what they are watching, both positive and negative. Of course dogs like to watch other dogs on TV, but what I didn’t realize is they also react to things that scare them.

Some of my dogs watch TV and some could care less. Yoshi loves to bark at dogs on TV, so does Frazier. They will tilt their heads and listen intently. However they do not like scary, loud movies or TV shows. So if perhaps you might leave on the news or any random channel,. it could turn out to be stressful for your dog, if left alone with the TV on for company.

In my next blog post, I will discuss the research behind dogs and television. Is it the screen or the content? What can they actually see and does it really do them any good?

In the meantime, while I am not a doctor, I have stayed at my fair share of hotels and can prescribe a dose of DOGTV for your pet. Check it out!


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MORE ON DOGTV: (source:
DOGTV provides television for dogs as a 24/7 digital TV channel with dog–friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.

DOGTV and The Humane Society of the United States are proud to work together to keep dogs happy and in their homes for a lifetime. That’s why DOGTV supports The HSUS’s Pets for Life program, aimed at providing assistance to pets and people in under served communities. Every time your dog enjoys DOGTV, know that you’re helping support The HSUS’s Pets for Life program.

DOGTV was developed by world leading pet and TV experts. The content was created following more than three years of research on dog vision, hearing and behavior. DOGTV’s content was tested by Professor Nicholas Dodman (at Tufts University), and is proven to be a valuable tool for home enrichment for dogs Leading brands are associating with DOGTV, showing its acceptance in the pet community.




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