By Daily Mail
Dogs in the UK watch almost an hour of TV every day, according to new research. Experts say the number of canines addicted to television is set to rise as the nation continues to make the switch from analogue to digital – because the clearer picture is easier for dogs to watch.
But man’s best friend’s taste is not what you would expect as most shun football in favour of soaps like Coronation Street and EastEnders. The average British dog is happy to sit for 50 minutes each day in front of their favourite shows and many get excited by theme tunes, the survey reveals.
Chris Laurence, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust, said: ‘The way digital is delivered seems to make it easier for dogs to watch. We’ve thought for some time that dogs love watching telly to relax, either with their owners or by themselves.’
EastEnders was named as the show with the most four-legged fans, in the poll conducted by switchover body Digital UK. With London next on the list for the big switchover, canines in the capital are sure to be delighted.
Labradors are ‘top dog’ when it comes to viewing hours per day, with some clocking up to two hours in front of the telly every day. Spaniels, Border Collies, Jack Russells and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are next in line.
Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but only seven per cent of the dogs surveyed were keen on watching football, with the majority preferring to tune in to top soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders. Dogs also have their favourite TV personalities, according to the poll.
Silver fox Philip Schofield is the pooch pin-up most likely to get tails wagging, with Jeremy Clarkson and Simon Cowell close on his tail. Noisy game shows are the biggest turn-off for canines, but nearly nearly half of dog owners said their pet had a favourite programme, with one-in-three getting noticeably excited when the show’s theme tune starts playing.
Vivien Morgan, London manager for Digital UK, said: ‘Digital switchover will affect all types of viewers, even four-legged ones. ‘Everyone needs to get digital on all their TVs before analogue is turned off, or find themselves in the doghouse. ‘
However, the Dogs Trust warned that leaving pets home alone in front of the television all day is not advisable as dogs are social creatures and need human interaction. The research was carried out on behalf of Digital UK by OnePoll, who questioned a UK-wide sample of 1,800 dog owners.
Most of the UK – 15.63m households – has yet to complete digital switchover and will do so in a region-by-region roll-out between now and the completion of the programme in late 2012. Dogs’ preference for digital TV is backed by animal cognition expert Prof Alexandra Horowitz, of Barnard College, in New York.
In her 2010 book Inside Of A Dog, she said: ‘Dogs have a higher flicker-fusion rate than humans do: 70 or even 80 cycles per second. ‘Like film, the image on your non-digital TV is really a sequence of still shots sent quickly enough to fool our eyes into seeing a continuous stream. But it’s not fast enough for dog vision. ‘The conversion to entirely digital television broadcasts will eliminate the flicker-fusion problem, making TV-viewing more viable for dogs.’