Rex and the City
It’s been another busy week in DOGTVLand, and it’s always a great joy to write about it on this blog. So here we go!
1. Parody. I love it when people laugh about DOGTV. Don’t get me wrong, we are taking DOGTV and dogs very seriously, but we also understand the tendency of people to think about the idea of a “television channel for dogs” in a funny way. Normally people smile when hearing the idea, until they understand the logic of it, the research that has been done and the benefits dog television has.
Anyhow, We are always pleased to see in the media around the globe parodies about DOGTV, from Jay Leno’s "Bitchlorette" , Jimmy Kimmel’s Pooche’d, David Letterman’s “Top 10”, Mad Magazine’s suggestions for new DOGTV programs, DOGTV after hours, and the one that I found myself laughing loudly: The animated news from Taiwan. Don’t miss it!
2. Names. So, what’s your dog’s name? The “Top 10 Dog Name” list for 2012 isn’t out yet, but there are already some predictions that were released. A reminder: in 2011 Max and Bella ruled the top 100 list for male and female dog names, leaving Buddy, Molly, Charlie and Lucy way behind. My Dog Magazine used trend predictions to guess who will rule the 2012 list, and they had some interesting new entrants. According to the magazine, Shakira, Rhianna, Kanye and Bieber will star in this year’s list, as well as Obama. Oi Vey. I wonder what Kanye will have to say after hearing he became a popular dog name. I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with Charlie.
<On the left: Rhianna. On the right: Rhianna>
3. Mills. The Humane Society of the United States are launching another campaign against Puppy Mills. Their puppy mill action week will take place May 7th to 13th, and they are asking you to make a video and “Tell the world why puppy mills stink”. This is another important step in the fight against puppy mills, those low conditioned breeding farms, that put an emphasis on profits above animal welfare. (Read more).
4. Watch. Many of you have been filming your dogs watching DOGTV, and posting pictures and videos on our YouTube and our Facebook page. Well done! We are inviting you to keep posting pictures and videos because you can also win some cool prizes. Check out this video of some of your dogs watching DOGTV! I’m sure you’ll love it!
I wish you a great week,
The Cutest dogs…ever!
Once again, the “Alpha Dog Blog” is four legged (just like a dog). Speaking of dogs, did you check out the brand new DOGTV Player? Check it out!
1. Expo. The thing I like about pet expos is…well, everything. It’s always such a great opportunity to check out the new trends in the pet industry, sniff around, and especially hang out with other pet lovers. I honestly believe that pet lovers are better people (without insulting the non-owners). Apparently I’m not the only one to say so: Psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted three experiments to examine the potential benefits of pet ownership among what they called everyday people. The results, published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, concluded:
“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions. Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.” (Read the research here).
So indeed, the San Diego Pet Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend was a real joy. Lots of people came and showed interest in our little dog channel (and didn’t forget to tweet about it!). So thanks for stopping by, and congratulations to the winners of this great gift basket!
2. Titanic. This past weekend also marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The occasion is being honored in several ways across the US (not to mention the release of the 3D version of the James Cameron movie. Yes, I saw it. And, yes, my 3D glasses got all wet).
Widener University in Philadelphia decided to honor the memory of the Titanic and its casualties with an exhibit, that also features dogs who were on board. There were 12 dogs on the Titanic, 3 of them survived: 2 Pomeranians and a Pekingese. The 9 dogs that died were confined in the onboard kennel and being walked and cared for by crew members. One of them was a Great Dane, who’s owner, Ann Elizabeth Isham, climbed out of a lifeboat after being informed that her dog was too big to join her and returned to the ship’s kennel. A few days after the sinking, her body was found by a recovery ship, clutching her beloved canine.
More stories of the Titanic’s four footed passengers are included in the new exhibition about Philadelphia families aboard the Titanic at the Widener University Art Gallery, Chester, Pennsylvania.
3. CONTEST. Dog Television fans! Did you remember to vote for the cutest dog in the world? Yes, we know it’s not a fair contest, because all dog parents are sure their dog is the cutest - and they are probably right.
So how can you choose the cutest dog with all these great pooches around? Well, according to more than 4 million fans, Boo is still “the world’s cutest dog”. You must have heard of Boo - the small Pomeranian with a funny haircut who became a huge celebrity thanks to a successful Facebook page, a best seller book and admiration from Kim Kardashian.
Well, recently somebody tweeted that Boo has died, and Boo fans everywhere started to panic and cry; Fear no more - it was a hoax, and Boo “was just taking a nap”, according to his owner. Even CNN have reported on the story.
So yes, with no disrespect to adorable Boo, DOGTV is still looking for the cutest new faces. The list has been narrowed down to the top 50, and it’s up to you to select your 3 favorite pictures of pups. Hurry up for your chance to win a new LCD TV for your dog to watch DOGTV on!
4. California. Here’s one of the most common questions we receive via email:
"I live in San Diego and it looks like a lot of this was filmed there. True?" (Shelly Guinan). Thanks for your email, Shelly. DOGTV is being filmed in many locations, among them San Diego. Due to the fact that SD is our launch-city, we decided to put a great emphasis on filming there, including dog beaches, parks, streets, Ballboa Park, and various locations around town. It’s also fun to meet dogs and dog parents from San Diego, because they are so open, friendly and supportive of our television channel for dogs. It is not a coincidence that San Diego was voted #3 in the list of dog friendly cities in the US!
(Check out the video of Padraige, the San Diegan who loves surfing!)
Still, if you don’t live in San Diego and if your dog wants to watch the dog channel, DOGTV, you can always do so via our online streaming service, which you can get here, or by downloading the new “DOGTV Player” for your Ipad or Iphone from Itunes.
So don’t forget to leave a little love on!
Have a great week,
Hi dog lovers,
I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend. Now it’s time for your dog to enjoy his - because today is National Pet Day!
1. Love. National Pet Day, April 11th, was founded by Colleen Paige as an act of loving and care for pets. So today is all about giving back to the animals. Give extra love, treats and affection, just to show them how much you care. Today is also the perfect day to donate to shelters, or better yet - adopt. These pets need you, and, trust us, you need them.
After recently partnering with the Escondido Humane Society, DOGTV is committed to helping sheltered dogs with the goal to help them feel calmer, happier and more adoptable.
2. Music. One of the ways DOGTV is helping canines - either sheltered or at home, is by the use of music that plays during dog television. You’ll be surprised, but dogs do have musical preferences. Scientific research have been made on the effect of music on dogs, and it turns out (are you ready for this?) - dogs don’t enjoy heavy metal! Shocking, right? They also don’t like Jazz music, and even Lady Gaga doesn’t seem to get their tails wagging.
No, our dogs are more sophisticated than that. In all honesty, dogs really prefer classical music, which is played and arranged in a simple way. Dogs enjoy slow, relaxing music, with mainly piano and harp.
One of the things we’ve tested, while developing our programs and monitoring dogs watching television, is their reaction to different music styles, arrangements and tempos. We have also studied Bioacoustics, the study of the perception of sound on animals, and together with our team of very talented musicians and sound designers, we have created an original score you can now hear on DOGTV.
Here’s another idea for you and your dog to do on National Pet Day (Ok, or any other day of the year) - try playing him some relaxing music -and see how he responds to it. I have a feeling he’ll slowly make his way to his favorite bed or pillow and lie down calm and relaxed.
3. Super Dogs. National Pet Day is also a chance to show appreciation to how great dogs really are. Sometimes people underestimate the ability of dogs to perceive and understand things, but time after time we learn how smart dogs really are.
It is now known, that dogs have mental abilities of a-2-year -old child. Findings show that dogs know 165 words (similar to a 2 year old child), including signals and gestures. The super dogs (dogs in the top 20% in intelligence) can learn 250 words, which is equivalent to a 2.5 year - old child.
It doesn’t end here: Apparently dogs understand time (past, present), shape, size, and even mathematics. The smartest dogs, if you were wondering, are German Shephards, Poodles and Border Collies. And this Border Collie may just be the smartest dog in the world.
So perhaps Pet Day is a great opportunity to teach your dogs some new words!
4. Stream. Without a doubt, the most popular question we’ve been getting (besides “When is CAT TV coming?”), is how can we get DOGTV?
Due to the fact that currently DOGTV is only available in San Diego (on Cox and Time Warner Cable), we thought that it is indeed unfair that only dogs in San Diego can enjoy it, so we decided to make it available to everyone! So wherever you are in the world, you can now enjoy DOGTV by subscribing to our streaming service. Now, DOGTV’s scientific designed programs are available to your pooch whenever and wherever you want. I’m actually amused to see that ever since we launched this online service, how many dogs started using ipads! (check out adorable Lucie).
For all you dog parents out there, I wish you all a happy Pet Day - go out, and do something nice for yourself - and especially for your dog.
Have a great week,
Welcome, dog lovers!
Ever since the Feb 13th launch of DOGTV, people have been writing, posting, pinning, tweeting and using any available way to say what they feel about our new little TV channel. “TV has gone to the dogs!”, “dogs are becoming couch potatoes!”, “so now you’ll start fighting over the remote with your dog!” and so on.
The truth is, we are very pleased with all your comments, and wouldn’t expect less from a revolutionary concept such as “television for dogs”.
For all of you who have interest in DOGTV, or just curious about the whole idea and have questions about the channel, the science behind it or anything else, I’m hoping this blog will give you some answers. I will also post some dog stories, scientific facts, and once a week will do my best to answer your great questions about DOGTV. So let’s begin…
1. Technology. When discussing DOGTV, and other television networks, many people tend to ask about the way dogs actually see what’s on the screen. “Can they see it clearly?”, “We heard the screen is flickering” etc. These are great question we receive often, so here’s a short explanation:
When we look at a picture on tv or a film in the cinema, it seems that we’re seeing a complete flowing image, but actually what we’re looking at is lots of individual frames. They seem to flow together because our eyes don’t notice the change between one image to the next. The speed of changing one frame to another is determined by the rate of CFF (Critical Flicker Frequency). For humans, the CFF is around 50-60hz, which means that we are able to see the picture smoothly.
Dogs see the world much faster: their flicker fusion rate may be as high as 70 to 80hz, which means that when they watch an old CRT television, that refreshes at the rate of 50 to 60 hz, they see flickering images instead of continuous motion pictures.
But technology now enables dogs to view and watch television.
With LED, LCD and plasma televisions, the refresh rate is much higher (100 hz and more), which means that digital television enables dogs to see programs the same as you and me. And, after 4+ years of observing dogs watching DOGTV programming, we’re certain they not only see what’s on TV – but they enjoy it, too!
(Weird, but In the UK, apparently dogs enjoy watching “Eastenders”!. go figure..)
2. CATS. You won’t believe how many questions we get regarding cats. Some cat owners are pleased (“my cat is watching DOGTV”!), some are worried (“my cat is watching DOGTV!”), and most are just curious (“When is CAT TV coming on”?). We are aware that many cats already watch television, and we are more than pleased that we are winning new viewers! Having said that, DOGTV is specifically designed for dogs, so we can’t guarantee cats will find it to be as fascinating as dogs do. Still, if judging by the pictures you may have seen on our Facebook page (thanks for sharing this picture, Kathy!), we couldn’t be happier.Yes, we also love cats.