This article says that what dogs see when they watch TV is different from humans.
This research indicates that dogs have a preference towards watching other canines – but our studies have also discovered that sound often initially attracts dogs towards television and other devices. Favoured sounds include dogs barking and whining, people giving dog-friendly commands and praise, and the noise of toys squeaking.
How dogs watch TV is very different to the way humans do, however. Instead of sitting still, dogs will often approach the screen to get a closer look, and walk repeatedly between their owner and the television. They are essentially fidgety, interactive viewers.
While science has shown that dogs can engage with television and that they prefer certain programmes, it has yet to delve into the complex question of whether they actually enjoy it. We as humans will often watch distressing footage or videos that make us feel a range of emotions, from distress to anger and horror. It’s not always because it makes us feel good. We just don’t know whether similar factors motivate dogs to watch.
What a dog does engage with, however, differs from dog to dog, depending on their personality, experience and preference.
But what really surprised me about the article is that there is an actual TV channel aimed at dogs called DOGTV. Really. I have no idea what the programming is like but it is apparently aimed at entertaining dogs when they may be home alone or you are too occupied to pay attention to them.
The video at the link shows dogs responding to what they see and the gorgeous brown and white dogs shown are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that look just like our own Baxter the Wonder Dog. But Baxter does not seem interested in watching TV at all. When I am watching something, he will come into the room because he likes to be around people but will then promptly curl up in a corner of the floor or on the couch and go to sleep. He has shown little or no interest in what is appearing on the screen.