So here’s a pretty stunning idea for dealing with your dog’s separation anxiety: Dog TV.
Yeah, you heard it right. There is a new TV channel out there developed specifically for Fido! The creators have put in years of research and consulted multiple pet experts: vets, behaviourists, trainers, you name it.
DOGTV is recognized by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and uses concepts widely supported by leading organizations including The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a valuable product that contributes to the enrichment and quality of dogs’ lives.
Not only did the authors choose special music to play in the background – which is what obviously spiked my interest – but also adjusted the colours of the video to appeal to your dog. They have three content types: something to relax your dog, something to stimulate him and even some learning programmes. The primary objective: to not let your pooch get bored while you’re away. They will be rolling out the channel nation-wide to all major providers real soon, and in the meantime, if you don’t happen to live in San Diego, you can try it out with online streaming for just $9.99 a month.
I have to say, at first I wasn’t convinced. Despite my encouragement, Vadim never seemed to enjoy TV. However, I try and keep an open mind – after all who would’ve expected “special pet music” to work so well? – and having reviewed all the materials presented on the website, I think I’d be quite keen to try. After all, we do always leave the radio on for Vadim while we’re gone and perhaps it is part of the reason he has been so great about staying home alone. It does make me wonder how much it is the sounds that are of importance in the TV concept and how much the actual images. Especially since they warn you shouldn’t expect our dog to just sit there and watch, rather he’s supposed to come along and stare for a bit every now and then.
Anyway, I chose three videos that I felt best explain the whole concept, so that you guys don’t have to plough through the entire DOG TV website (though if you are curious, I’d recommend it). First up, prof. Nicholas Dodman – Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts University, MA; one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists; author of best sellers about animal behavior and their sensory perception - talks about the science behind Dog TV and gives an overview of the idea.
Next, a short sample of Dog TV content. I chose the relaxation part, since this is what I’m most interested in. Note the music playing in the background!
Finally, a testimonial from one of the shelters that joined the programme already.