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Posted on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:52 a.m.

First cable network created just for dogs is launched

By Lorrie Shaw


flickr photo by orangerobot

For many pets, it's no fun being left alone at home all day while your humans go to work.

These days, pet owners have a lot of options to keep their canines happy and engaged while they're away during their working hours, no matter what those hours are: a safely fenced yard with a doggy door, enrollment at doggy day care/camp — or even hiring the services of a dog walker to break up the day.

All of these are good choices, depending on the owner's financial resources and preferences and the dog's disposition.

For stay-at-home dogs in one area of California, life just got a little better. A cable television network, DogTV, was created to help keep dogs happy while their families are away.

"We find it helps with separation anxiety, a problem for many dogs, and with keeping dogs relaxed and entertained," said Lisa Wilhoit McCormick, co-owner of Fido & Co. dog country club, the official home of DogTV.

"It does look different from human TV — the colors are different, and the videos are taken from a dog's point of view."

A scientific advisory board, which boasts Dr. Nicholas Dodman, professor of veterinary medicine and behavior at Tufts University, and dog trainer Victoria Stillwell of Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog" have helped to design the content of the network, along with the expertise of other dog behavior experts.

The channel is being broadcast in the San Diego area by Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. The channel is free during the initial launch, but is expected to cost $4.99 per month. Read more about the channel by clicking here.

This topic piqued my interest, because I find that some pets, mostly dogs — whether they are clients or my own — seem to like a little background noise (like the television, a talk radio station, calming music or even a source of white noise) when they are home alone.

Is yours one of them? Take the poll below and clue everyone in on your pet's preference in the comments below.

Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for You can follow her daily pet adventures on Twitter and subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

Yeah, in your faces, cats!

The Picker

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

My dog is too busy cleaning the house and has no time for entertainment !

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I have two dogs so they can keep each other company while I am at work. They don't like to watch TV but they do enjoy looking out of the windows. What cracks me up is how well they can tell time. They know what time the mail carrier is due and will move to the living room to watch out of the front window for him about 1/2 hour before he gets there. A neighbor walks his dog past my house every day around 4pm and sure enough, around 3:30, they go wait for him. They also like to watch the kids walking home from school, the squirrels that hit the bird feeder I put right outside one of the windows, etc. I always think it is like TV for them.

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

WIY: That's a great idea, having two dogs. I recommend that for cats, too actually. I agree - they can tell time. I did a piece on that a few months ago, and the consensus was split. In my experience, the dogs can tell when we're coming home, and our arrival time is never consistent. Our cat likes to be tucked into his "bed" in the finished part of the basement, promptly at 9:30pm with a snack. He tells us so with very loud meowing and carrying on. I've no idea how he does it. There is no set time to our nighttime routine, really, so it's a mystery. Thanks for sharing your story!


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

The Weather Channel does the same thing and its free with your basic cable.

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

rs: I was going to say that, too. Lots of variety there. Thanks for commenting!

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

This is so cute! It's good for pets to not feel so alone when Mom and Dad have to be out ....

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

I agree, Mary. I like the idea. I leave the radio on, too - NPR is a good choice. There's a mix of voices, bits of music, etc.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Slow news day is slow.

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

SMC: Thanks for your comment! There's been a lot of enthusiastic interest in the topic. Be sure to check back all week for great posts. :)

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Our good old dog, Tigger, part Chow, part Shepherd, loved television. He would watch Animal Planet shows from beginning to end, only taking time to run over and get a mouthful of kibble, which he would put on the floor in front of the tv and snack on during the shows. He hated Wilde Beasts though, and we never knew why. If they showed up in a story, he would rush to the set and snap at them on the screen. One Thanksgiving, he was watching a re-run of Lassie Come Home and refused to move or acknowledge our guests until the story was over. We have a great snapshot of him sitting there, glued to the set and you can see Lassie on the screen. We always left Animal Planet on when we left him at home.

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Elaine: That is a great story, I agree! I think Animal Planet is great, too. Our yellow Lab, Bruiser seems especially enthralled by television and will watch if there are dogs on a show. So cute. :) Thanks for sharing!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

That reminds me of one of my favorite books from my childhood: Clarence the TV Dog <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Yes, great story Elaine. Amazing. Only one of our 3 ever shows interest.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Wow. That is so cool, thanks for the great story!