Is TV barking mad?

2013-07-21 14:00

Television is going to the dogs – literally. US satellite network DirectTV is launching the world’s first TV channel aimed exclusively at stay-at-home dogs.

From August 1, house-bound canines can tune into a subscription-based doggie channel called DogTV, which will also be available online.

The channel will organise programming into relaxing, stimulating and behaviour-improving segments.

“Just the right balance for the daily routines of our beloved stay-at-home dogs,” states

The website describes content as “designed to keep dogs occupied so they don’t chew up the furniture while their owners are away”.

Examples of “relaxing”footage shows pooches staring out over lakes and sleeping against a backdrop of gentle bird sounds; “stimulating” content shows dogs cavorting on beaches and playing with balls; and “behaviour-improving” footage shows dogs reacting calmly to doorbells, police sirens and babies.

TV bosses claim that DogTV is backed by science.

The channel’s founder and chief content officer, Ron Levi, who describes himself as a New York-based dog lover, said it took a team of experts four years to develop the programming.

Levi has also created television for humans, notably as a writer for The Amazing Race.

But MultiChoice in South Africa is not following suit just yet. Spokesperson Marietjie Groenewald said: “We know that dogs and other pets are important members of the family for many of our customers.

“We don’t have any plans to add a channel specifically for dogs at this stage, but we do offer great programmes like The Dog Whisperer and Dogs 101 on Animal Planet.”

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