Escondido Humane Society Installs DOGTV for Shelter Dogs

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Dog Television programming Demonstrates Decreased Anxiety and Improved Behavior Among Canines

SAN DIEGO: Escondido Humane Society has become the first animal shelter in San Diego County to install DOGTV for live viewing by dogs.

Last month, the North County shelter began showing DOGTV, television created for dogs, on several screens mounted in the facility. During its first month using the scientifically developed television for dogs, Escondido Humane Society has seen a marked improvement in all of the dogs who have been exposed to DOGTV, according to Sally Costello, executive director of Escondido Humane Society. She reported that higher-energy dogs, which were once showing signs of anxiety, are now exhibiting positive development and calmer behavior, including vocalizing less and resting more.

Caring for more than 5,000 animals a year, and with a current total of 115 dogs on-site, Escondido Humane Society provides animal care, adoption, education and protection services for north inland San Diego County. An open-door shelter, Escondido Humane Society partnered with DOGTV to provide an outlet of calm to the anxious dogs hosted in the behavior evaluation and adoption kennels. According to Costello, dogs tend to show more signs of stress in an unfamiliar environment, and the TV for dogs has facilitated calm for these pups, providing recognizable landscapes and imagery to focus on.    

The first programming of its kind, DOGTV meets a dog’s typical daily cycle and helps prevent mental fatigue, depression and boredom. The television for dogs is scientifically developed to reduce stress, add pleasure and improve a dog’s development, and produced in strict accordance with dogs’ unique sense of sight, hearing, and movement detection. For example, the psychoacoustic music and "relaxation" content in the television for dogs can decrease stress of sheltered dogs, making them calmer, happier and potentially more adoptable.

According to Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior, dogs suffer from separation anxiety, even depression, when left alone. To address this angst, 61 percent of dog owners in the United States heed the recommendation from the Humane Society of the United States to, "keep a radio or television on in the house so dogs can hear comforting voices and not just silence." Now, recent findings demonstrate that canines not only enjoy TV for dogs, but also have a clear preference for content created specifically for canines.

“DOGTV provides a new and promising tool to help enrich the environments of our canine companions,” said Dr. Patrick Melese, DVM, MA, DACVB, a board certified veterinary behaviorist with Veterinary Behavior Consultants based in San Diego. “This is especially true for dogs left home alone since it gives them an attractive distraction to watch and listen to rather than worry about when their beloved people will return. The programming can also help expose dogs to sounds such as doorbells and vacuum cleaners in a gentle manner that could help prevent them from overreacting when they encounter these noises around the home. San Diego pet owners are fortunate to be the first to have access to this unique dog-friendly television programming.”

Additionally, with Queen’s University Belfast, Dr. Deborah Wells and Lynne Graham conducted a study of the influence of visual stimulation on the behavior of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. By monitoring 50 dogs in a shelter, they found that “the behavior of kenneled dogs is influenced by visual stimulation in the form of television programs.” Another research study conducted by Dr. Wells titled “The Influence of auditory stimulation on the behavior of dogs housed in a rescue shelter,” found that “certain types of auditory stimulation may be beneficial for the animals’ welfare.” Both studies are testament that DOGTV is a benefit for sheltered dogs and support the results seen at Escondido Humane Society within the last month.

Costello, says the television for dogs is definitely helping decrease the anxiety of its shelter dogs. “We heard about DOGTV and we jumped at the chance. The first afternoon we turned it on, we were surprised that the dogs immediately sat down and watched it. And it was quiet and calm,” said Costello. “This gives them something to focus on, and de-stress. It’s been a great experience for us. We really hoped that this would add something and it has. We are so pleased with it.”

DOGTV is the first television network for dogs. DOGTV programming content is organized into relaxing, stimulating, and behavior-improving segments that work together to provide balance for the daily cycle of "stay-at-home" pups. DOGTV’s revolutionary content is designed for a dog’s visual, auditory, and emotional sensibility. For more information, visit:


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