The old expression "it's a dog's life" suggests a miserable existence - but sitting around watching TV doesn't sound so bad. That's the idea behind DOGTV, a subscription-based digital TV channel that organizes programming into 3 to 6 minutes of relaxing, stimulating and behaviour-improving segments for what the site calls "stay-at-home" dogs.
They're calling themselves cable's first network for canines. The idea is to soothe the dog's separation anxiety when the owner is at work, and more likely to soothe the owner's feelings of guilt of leaving his or her best friend alone for a while.
"Dogs that are left home alone for a few hours everyday tend to be very lonely, they develop behavioural issues, they are bored, they are stressed and leaving the TV on with proper content gives them comfort. It relaxes them, it stimulates them at times," DOGTV CEO Gilad Neumann tells ABC News. DOGTV launched on Cox and Time Warner in San Diego this week.
Programming includes dogs playing, dogs riding in a car and dogs sleeping. Animal behaviour experts say the dogs probably react more to the sounds than the images on the screen. The programming is separated into three types: relaxing, stimulating and positive behavioural reinforcement. According to DOGTV, "dogs respond beautifully to what they see on TV, and enjoy most when they see other dogs, other animals and even inanimate moving objects."