Your What does a phone screen look like to a dog? What to Know

The History of Your Dog’s Eyesight

Your What does a phone screen look like to a dog?

While there isnt much history on this topic, dogs eyesight was originally evolved for hunting. As descendants from wolves, this was essential to survival and enabled dogs to see the big picture before zeroing in on prey. Because of this, dogs have really good peripheral vision and are better at seeing movement from a distance rather than up close on a screen.

Screens are also a relatively new tool, and dogs still rely on instinct to interpret the world around them. For instance, a smell-less screen is a lot less interesting than the squirrel outside your kitchen window.

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Smaller screens, such as those found on cell phones or tablets, may make it “harder to recreate the world for the dogs because they’re smaller and the quality is more compressed,” says Ron Levi, chief content officer for DogTV. (See “Why Do Dogs Watch—And React To—TV?”)

A UK-based study found that dogs may be become anxious or depressed when their owners use their smartphones excessively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that dogs react similarly when their owners ignore them, according to ABC 11.

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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.

Dog owners often notice their pets watching televisions, computer screens and tablets. But what is going on in their pooch’s head? Indeed, by tracking their vision using similar methods used on humans, research has found that domestic dogs do prefer certain s and videos.

What dogs can see on the screen is also different to humans. Dogs have dichromatic vision – they have two types of colour receptor cells and see colour within two spectrums of light: blue and yellow. The use of colour within media is very important for dogs and explains why canine TV channel, DogTV prioritises these colours in its programming. Dogs’ eyes are also more sensitive to movement and vets suspect that the improved flicker rate that has come from the shift from standard to high definition television has allowed dogs to better perceive media shown on TV.

What a dog does engage with, however, differs from dog to dog, depending on their personality, experience and preference. This is speculated to be influenced by what their owner watches, with dogs following their human’s gaze and other communication signals, such as gestures and head turns.

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Small screens, compressed signals, and canine nature may all affect whether a dog can identify its owner on the phone or in a video chat.

Saturdays Weird Animal Question of the Week comes from National Geographics Christina An, who writes, “I noticed that our dogs (labs) cant recognize our voice via iPad, regular phone, iPhone, etc., and would love to know why.” She also wants to know why her dogs cant perceive her on FaceTime or similar video-messaging services.

Can our canines recognize us through our technology? At least better than technology can sometimes hear them?