TV has literally gone to the dogs

A new television channel specifically aimed at dogs has launched in the US.

DogTV is an eight-hour block of on-demand cable TV programming designed to keep dogs relaxed, stimulated and entertained while their owners are at work.

"I shot from the point of view of the dog," said Gilad Neumann, chief executive officer of DogTV.

During production, they had to mute colours, alter sound and add music specially written for dogs. There will be no commercials, no ratings and no repeats.

One million subscribers with two cable companies have access to DogTV in San Diego and its parent company PTV Media plans to offer it across America over the coming months, Neumann said.

It will cost about $4.99 (£3.12) a month, he said.

Bleu, a year-old French bulldog, has been watching for a month and snorts and grunts his approval, owner Mary Catania of San Diego said. He used to perk up when Family Guy came on, she said, but he seems more intrigued by DogTV.

"I always feel guilty leaving him alone all day when I'm at work," Catania said. "He's like my kid. I don't have any children so I really treat him like my child. Anything that makes him happy makes me happy."

For years, pet owners have been leaving a television or radio on when they go out so their pets have company, said Dr. Nick Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

But Dodman said that according to research on the canine brain, with analogue television, dogs could only see a flickering screen. New technologies like digital TV, high-definition cameras, and enhanced production have changed the way dogs perceive the images, while big screens allow them to see from anywhere in a room, Neumann said.