Kathryn Lindsay
November 07, 2015 6:50 am

You should think twice the next time you want to sit down and watch the tennis, because according to some recent research, your dog is going to get pretty confused. Turns out, with the help of modern, high definition TVs, dogs “probably see the new TVs just as well as they see the world in general.”

That’s according to Ernst Otto Ropstad, an associate professor who specializes in animal vision at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. “Now that modern TVs generate more frames per second,” he continues. “Dogs can perceive the pictures as film, just like we do.”

For us humans, we only need about sixteen to twenty frames per second to perceive something as a moving image. Dogs, however, need 70. Before TVs were as advanced as they are now, what we saw as television, dogs basically saw as a slideshow.

Now, the frame rate of our favorite shows is getting closer to what dogs perceive as moving. That’s why another animal on the screen, or a tennis ball flying by, are instances more and more often making dogs lose their cool. To them, it’s like a bird or another dog or whatever happens to be on screen is actually in the room.

At the same time, however, dogs don’t see as clearly as humans. Their color receptors aren’t as advanced. “This means, for instance, that what we perceive as red will be seen by dogs as yellowish or white,” Ropstad explains.

This research is still very preliminary. For instance, there isn’t any information about how reactions to TV vary across breeds. All we know is that, for the most part, dogs can tell something’s going on up there on the screen, they’re just not sure what — which makes this video extra special:

(Image via Disney.)

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