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The Effects of Television Programming on a Dog's Behavior

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

February 2021


The Center for Canine Behavior Studies and DOGTV partnered together to research the effects of television programming on a dog's behavior. Participants were offered a 30-day complimentary trial of DOGTV. The study began in October 2020 and ended in January 2021, and consisted of three individual surveys.


Survey 1: Identified the respondents' history with DOGTV.

Of the 806 people who responded, 56.6% (456) never used DOGTV, 23.6% (190) currently had a subscription, and 19.8% (159) had a subscription that expired. Those who had a current subscription were ineligible to continue. Cost was the overwhelming reason past subscribers did not renew their subscription.




Survey 2: Concentrated on their dogs' behavior prior to beginning the trial of DOGTV.

Owners could report on multiple dogs within the same household. 708 dogs were represented in this survey. Upon completion, participants were offered a 30-day complimentary trial of DOGTV. Below is a detailed breakdown of the results:

  • Genders were represented evenly. 75% (537) of the dogs were either spayed or neutered.

  • 59% (418) of owners reported leaving a device on for their dog when they leave the home or are working from home. Of those who do, 62% (261) leave the television on, 21% (86) leave a radio, 15% (63) leave both the television and radio on, and 2% (8) selected Other (owners described other devices such as Amazon Echo, iPads, etc.).

  • Persistent barking, compulsive behaviors (licking, spinning), and stress yawning were the most frequently observed behaviors while the dog was at home.

  • Most owners did not indicate their dogs were particularly anxious when they were home, however many indicated their dogs’ anxiety appeared to increase when they left the home.

  • Owners reported their dogs experienced anxiety during thunderstorms, bath time/grooming, and other loud noises like sirens/alarms/fireworks.

  • Owners reported that 94% (653) of their dogs barked at normal household stimuli, like doorbells, outside distractions, or vacuums.

  • Of the 355 dogs whose owners reported that their dog reacted to the television, 70% (247) reacted to seeing another animal and 24% (85) reacted to hearing a doorbell or siren sound. The most commonly observed reactions included watching intently with ears pricked, head cocked, barking, and moving towards the television.



Survey 3: Concentrated on their dogs' behavior after the trial of DOGTV.

To participate in the third and final survey, respondents must have enrolled in the 30-day complimentary trial of DOGTV and play DOGTV daily for at least an hour each day. Respondents were emailed the third survey after the DOGTV trial was completed. The answers represented 79 dogs. CCBS expected the participation rate to be lower due to the time-commitment. Additionally, participation was substantially impacted when respondents were required to provide their credit card information for the 30-day complimentary trial of DOGTV. This was direct feedback from respondents. Below is a detailed breakdown of the results:


  • 77% (61) of dogs reportedly watched DOGTV.

  • The Entertainment Phase and The Exposure Phase interested the dogs most, 35% (28) and 34% (27) respectively, followed by The Relaxation Phase with 22% (18). 28% (22) were unsure what phase their dog preferred.

  • Owners reported that 22% (13) of their dogs appeared less anxious when they prepared to leave the home.

  • After being exposed to DOGTV, 49% (39) of owners observed no changes in their dog’s behavior and 11% (9) were unsure of changes. 39% (31) of owners who observed a change in their dog’s behavior generally reported a positive change. Below is a detailed breakdown of the results:

  • 39% (31) reported their dogs’ enjoyed watching DOGTV, 34% (27) noted no change, and 13% (10) found their dog was not interested in it. 14% (11) responses selected “Other” and the theme of comments were mainly positive reviews.

  • Owners were given the opportunity to provide feedback. DOGTV may find the responses.


Overall, the majority of owners found the content of DOGTV to be beneficial to their dog. In general, dogs in our study were more content, quieter, less agitated, and cope better when left alone as a result of regular DOGTV programming. The specific DOGTV programming would complement a behavior modification program for dogs enrolled in separation anxiety management or desensitization to certain stimuli. Additionally, DOGTV provides entertainment and enrichment to dogs, especially those whose activities have been limited due to the pandemic or for other reasons.


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Center for Canine Behavior Studies, Inc. (CCBS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of dogs through research, education and support of canine behavior and the human-animal bond. The CCBS team, led by world-renowned Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, discovers what behaviors lead to relinquishment and identifies ways to educate owners so that dogs and those who love them can live harmoniously.


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