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DogTV – Entertainment for Dogs & Owners

By Amy Fernandez

I’ve always believed that dog parks exist more for the owners than the dogs.  Really, dogs couldn’t care less about the aesthetics of such places.  Nonetheless, dog parks are endlessly upgraded, landscaped and packed with new amenities for the humans. DogTV probably fits in the same category.

Launched as an antidote for bored and lonely dogs stuck home alone, it’s been around for at least a decade. However, this formerly obscure streaming service ($6.99 a month) has exploded in popularity in our post-Covid society. And America’s 23 million new pet owners are the ones to thank for that growth.  Reportedly, this network has gained over 388,000 new subscribers since Covid. Everybody watched way too much TV in 2020, and apparently that included dogs.

Originally conceived as a way to alleviate owner guilt and entertain their dogs, it’s probably been more effective for the first thing.   Most dogs are occasionally diverted by some on-screen image. Usually, barking will grab their attention, but they don’t sit there riveted to the screen for hours. People do that.  The company’s founder, Ron Levi–a veteran of reality TV–admits that programming can be a challenge due to the relatively short canine attention span.

And yes, DogTV’s content is evolving in a direction that’s presumably designed to cultivate its growing subscriber base of viewers with somewhat longer attention spans. Levi acknowledges that “Dogs don’t care if it’s a beautiful location in California”, but DogTV does a lot of filming at scenic locations all over the world.  They employ teams of production crews, directors, editors and composers. It is definitely not a full-time soundtrack of barking and squeaky noises. DogTV is offering pretty sophisticated content these days.

Still, it’s doubtful whether dogs have demonstrated any added interest in the training and behavior tips, the customized music, or the dazzling scenery.  But all that lovely stuff serves a purpose. As a recent NY Times story explained, “as more workers return to the office…the network is producing content custom-made for such anxiety among dogs, and increasingly their guilt-ridden owners.” So, there you have it.


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Posted by on Oct 22 2023. Filed under Current Articles, Featured, The Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • December 2023