A dog unfriendly TV?
April 28, 2020 3:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a TV that displays in such a way that my dog won't be able to understand the images and will hopefully just ignore it.

Our beloved small terrier dog is a big TV watcher and a big TV barker. He really doesn't like anything with four legs appearing on the screen. We've had some success with distracting him beforehand and ignoring him if he does start barking.

I've been thinking it would be so much easier if we could find a TV that he can't watch. He doesn't seem to react to noises much, just images. My understanding is that dogs can't understand old TVs. But how old does the TV have to be? I've wondered if a projector might work too? Has any had any experience in this area?
posted by mmmmmmm to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)
 
This article suggests that refresh rate may play a part. If your TV currently has a 60 Hz refresh rate, though, there's not really any lower you can go.
posted by cabingirl at 4:01 PM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


My understanding is that dogs can't understand old TVs.

This is the first time I’ve heard of this, and I’d love to know more from anyone that has any info.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:31 PM on April 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Some old LCD televisions had pretty narrow viewing angles, so a dog that's off-axis might not get a clear picture.
I've never heard of dogs not being able to see CRT type TVs.
Maybe one of those monitor privacy screens would work? Even if you manage to render the TV images invisible, won't the sound of barking dogs on screen get your dog worked up anyway?
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 5:41 PM on April 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Here, also home to a small, beloved terrier with the same issue, the only "dog-unfriendly" screens belong to devices (laptop, tablet, notebook, phone).
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:04 PM on April 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Aah, I didn't read the part about the dog not reacting to noises much. [facepalm]
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 6:16 PM on April 28, 2020


If your tv is on a low stand, maybe you could shim it to tilt it so Pupper doesn't see it as well from the floor?
posted by theora55 at 6:56 PM on April 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Monitor privacy screens reduce viewing angle like old monitors but I don't know if you can get them in TV sizes (though here is a 43" 16:9 privacy screen). If they did do the job maybe you could install a couple of the vertical variety side by side for more width.
posted by Mitheral at 7:02 PM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


PS: my childhood dog had no problem watching a variety of CRT televisions.
posted by Mitheral at 7:04 PM on April 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Here, also home to a small, beloved terrier with the same issue, the only "dog-unfriendly" screens belong to devices (laptop, tablet, notebook, phone).

My dog watches my laptop intently and will nose bop the screen on my laptop when anything with four legs appears.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:43 AM on April 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


Best answer: My dog does not react negatively to tv shows. Nor has any I've ever had. But I've never had a tv a dog couldn't watch. The very idea seems ludicruos.

I have a projector nowadays and my dog certainly watches it. She loves the horses in Deadwood, for example, and sits up when they're on screen (but does not bark).

I've never had the need to own a tv a dog couldn't watch but can say for certain that of all the screens I've owned (I'm 52 so have had most types of tvs), the only one a dog couldn't watch was my virtual reality headset, which I use for Netflix. If you watch things solo, it's an amazing way to do it, but doesn't work if you watch with others.
posted by dobbs at 7:14 AM on April 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


Knowing that 60 Hz might be the cut-off point for what makes sense to dogs and maybe cats (thanks cabingirl!), that reminded me of the NTSC standard. I'm not an engineer, but I think the standard implies that no TV intended for receiving regular broadcasts in North America since somewhere in the 1950s had a refresh rate below 60 Hz. That suggests that old TVs probably made sense to the average pupper. Europe used PAL, which is 50 Hz, so who knows, maybe European pets have a different TV-watching history.

FWIW, I recall being at friend's houses in the late 90s to early 00s when we all had large-screen CRTs and their dogs were frequently yapping or barking at said TVs. Maybe the yapping was unrelated to what they were seeing on TV, who knows, but given what we know about refresh rates it's difficult to rule the possibility that they were seeing something.
posted by blerghamot at 2:14 PM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


I have owned several dogs and many TVs. I have never seen a dog react to anything on a CRT. Though they might stare at it sometimes. Maybe the flickering light or the sound caused that. The first time I owned a large LCD TV, the dogs would react to other dogs on screen. They also watch it for greater lengths of time. I'm no expert, but that seems to say that they can see actual discreet objects on LCD. But not CRT.
posted by Splunge at 3:56 PM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, the answer may be to get a different dog! (Not an option I know. :) )

I remember a documentary from when I was younger that talked about dogs with eyes at the front of their face (extreme example: pugs) would be able to watch TV more than dogs with eyes at the side of their face (I guess a greyhound?). There is a difference in how their vision works (tracking movement vs detail) and means some dogs just don't really see TV.
posted by freethefeet at 3:24 PM on May 1, 2020


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