Ever wonder what your dog does all day when you leave for work? Ron Levi hopes that soon your dog will spend the day in front of the television — specifically, watching Dog TV, the new television channel he created specifically for dogs.
Levi, a radio and TV host in Israel, created the channel as a means of keeping dogs entertained while their owners are away. “If the dog’s not fortunate enough to go out, this is an alternative,” Levi explained to Today. “Most people can’t take their dogs to work with them. Dogs need stimulation.” However, as pet owners know, too much stimulation can lead to a stressed out dog. When Dog TV was originally announced last year, some – NewsFeed included – wondered about over-stimulated pets and their impact on, say, home furnishings. That’s why Levi tailored Dog TV’s programming to meet a dog’s entertainment needs and the completed iteration of the project addresses those concerns.
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To find the perfect blend of soothing and stimulating content, Levi conducted research, even teaming up with Tufts University to install cameras in homes in order to monitor dogs who were watching Dog TV and adapting the channel’s content as necessary. “At first we had a lot of barking sounds on the channel,” says Levi. “But we learned that dogs got irritated by that.” Now subscribers will get a channel with no loud noises, no other dogs barking, no shouting and no commercials. Instead, pets can watch a continuous stream of three- to five-minute videos of relaxing landscapes interspersed with “stimulating” content such as dogs running and “exposure” programming designed to help dogs become accustomed to noises they are commonly afraid of such as cars, fireworks or thunderstorms.
The animal-friendly television channel is currently available in some Time Warner and Cox TV plans. Starting August 1, the channel will also be available for DirecTV subscribers. Dog TV is also selling subscriptions to their website, where viewers (or their owners) can stream the station’s programming.