Dog tv causes paws for thought

Kate Mason, My Style column. Picture: Marie Caley D5417MC
Kate Mason, My Style column. Picture: Marie Caley D5417MC

Fighting over the TV remote is one of the biggest sources of friction in my house.

But now it seems I may have another contender vying for the remote control in the shape of my dog thanks to the launch of DOGTV.



For those of you who haven’t heard about this latest American phenomenon DOGTV is the first network dedicated to screening shows not about dogs but in fact for your dogs.

Forget Lassie and Old Yeller. This channel’s shows include segments on “Morning Relaxation,” “Stimulation” and “Exposure.”

And before you write this off as just another money making gimmick, the three to six minute video clips were developed over the last several years in consultation with experts in canine behaviour.

Although this concept may seem barking mad I can kind of understand the thinking behind it.

My dog Bertie loves it when other pooches are on TV and always stops what he’s doing whenever another canine creature is on screen.

In fact the other week I watched As Good As It Get’s - the fantastic Jack Nicholson film that features Verdell, a cute Belgian Griffon dog.

Normally my viewing is interrupted by demands from Bertie to throw the ball or give him a treat but to my delight he was glued to the film and watched the full thing eager to catch a glimpse of Verdell.

I’ve found myself searching the TV schedule just to find programmes that may have dogs in them just for a bit of peace and quiet but I’m sure the novelty of watching 101 Dalmations every night will start to wear off.

So maybe DOGTV is the answer to all my prayers.

But rather than a getting cuddled up and sharing a bucket of popcorn with your pooch whilst watching the channel, it is in fact aimed at occupying your furry friend whilst you’re out of the house.

“The dog-approved programming content was created to entertain, relax and stimulate stay-at-home dogs, so owners don’t come home to ripped-up couches, shredded magazines or a favourite pair of heels chewed to bits,” the company says. Although, predictably the channel is an American invention, it is available online for us dog loving Brits.

I’m all for treating my dog like a member of the family but is this a step too far?

As much as I love my dog, fighting over the remote after a long day at the office is not what I signed up for.

We dress them in little outfits, buy them presents on their birthday and now we even give them their own TV channel. I’m wary. If we’re not careful we may end up in a Planet of The Apes situation where dogs rule the world.