DOGTV Is Television for Stay-at-Home Dogs — No Joke
All hail the canine couch potato.
Thanks to DOGTV, a satellite channel that launched Aug. 1 on Direct TV, a new breed will soon be recognized by the American Kennel Club — the Narcotized Tube Hound.
DOGTV caters to the tail-wagging crowd with 24-hour programming to soothe, stimulate and habituate sensitive pups when their owners are not home. At $4.99 a month, it’s cheaper than Prozac.
Now you can plant your dog in front of the TV and walk the kids instead of plant the kids and walk the dog. What a concept.
Created by Israeli-based Jasmine TV, DOGTV runs three- to six-minute video segments that ‘provide just the right balance for the daily routines of our beloved ‘stay-at-home’ dogs,’ according to its website.
The segments feature universally adorable dogs playing, napping or doing real-life stuff with their humans, all backed by instrumentals. The content’s brightness, sound and color are adjusted for dogs, who are, by nature, partially color blind.
No commercials, yet. While certainly an underserved demographic, dogs don’t have significant buying power. (They are, however, unmatched at producing revenue streams.) Don’t be surprised if owner-targeted programming, starring people as well as canines, surfaces at some point to accommodate ads.
For dog owners, DOGTV is the ultimate ‘Get out of jail free’ card. It assuages their guilt about abandoning their furry family members, and it helps the furries cope with separation anxiety via images of a world populated exclusively by creatures like them.
If it’s healthy TV, it can’t be empty calories, right? It’s not like they’re watching Jerry Springer, or QVC, or Fox News.
DOGTV promises to produce fresh content continuously, so dogs don’t have to suffer through the hell of reruns. Acclaimed animal behaviorist Nicholas Dodman, author of such best-sellers as The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Well-Adjusted Dog, serves as the network’s chief scientist.
In a cable universe comprised of hundreds of channels — each aimed at a specific niche — it’s hard to argue against DOGTV. The reality is, dogs do watch TV, especially if there are images of other dogs on the screen. If you need proof, check out any of the 5,000-plus videos on YouTube of TV-watching bow wows.
Dogs also respond to sound, which is why many owners turn on the radio on when they leave the house. Combining the two is only logical. If you think a channel for dogs is weird, consider how many millions of people stay glued to a video of burning logs every Christmas.
As a longtime TV addict, I’m embarrassed to admit that our dogs are not particularly enamored of the tube. Joey, our Zen-like sheepdog, would rather sleep; and Rudy, our psychotic Westie, prefers to knock over wastebaskets and eat the contents.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t like DOGTV. If only it were scratch-and-sniff, I’d give it a shot.