I have good news and bad news for you guys.
DogTV, which launched Thursday on DirecTV, is a 24-hour pay channel providing programming designed and produced to appeal to canines.
The channel is divided into three kinds of programs, “Relaxation,” “Stimulation” and “Exposure.” Programs run three to six minutes and give dogs either soothing pastoral scenes or provide them with snippets of everyday life that normally cause anxiety, such as someone ringing the doorbell.
BAD NEWS: The cabal of contrarians and serial parade-rainer-onners at Slate has already posted a 1200-word article titled “Your Dog Will Not Like DogTV.”
While humans are predominantly visual creatures, making TV a natural human entertainment, “dogs are not primarily visual … and what interests them is typically smell first, sight second,” [Inside a Dog author Alexandra] Horowitz writes in an email. “Smell TV would be better.” As dog evolution expert Jon Franklin puts it, writing about his own pet in his book The Wolf in the Parlor, “Even a dog appearing on the screen, or barking out of a speaker, failed to impress. His two humans might be dumb enough to project their imaginations into the big square-eye thing, but the dog innately understood that it was pure poppycock. The television emitted no odor: Ipso facto, it was not real.”
If DogTV isn’t going to work, is there anything the office-bound dog owner can do to improve his hound’s lot? If you must leave your dog alone, take him on a long walk first, Houpt advises, to ease him into his sleepy time. And the best way to calm any separation anxiety is to do the same thing you’d do to set the mood after bringing a date back to your place: Play soft music and dim the lights so your dog feels safe. “Classical music seems to work best,” Houpt says. Instead of searching for something your dog can watch, she says, spend that five bucks on a toy that will give your dog something to do.
Look, I get what you’re trying to do here. I do. You’re trying to point out that there are better things a person can do with five dog-related dollars a month, because dogs may not be 100% biologically designed to sit back and watch television all day. Fine. You’re probably right. But allow me to present this counterpoint: SSSSSHHHHHUUUUUUUTTTTTT UUUUUUUUUUPPP. Shut the hell up. Think really hard about what you want to say, form a cohesive argument, and then take it to your graves without sharing it with anyone. For God’s sake, THERE IS A TV CHANNEL FOR DOGS NOW. TV. FOR. DOGS. Even if its only viewers turn out to be stoned college students, this is an important moment in history. (I’d rank it just behind the invention of the light bulb.) Let’s give it, like, a week before you crap all over it with your “science” and your “quotes from animal experts.” I mean, Jesus Christ, look at this video.
If that video is wrong, I sure as hell don’t want to be right. DogTV now, DogTV forever.
I want more like this!
Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.