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How well do dogs see?/ How much do they understand?

I have an elderly JRT who is turning into a telly addict.But she is choosey about what she watches. Anything with animals,and she is at the tv like a flash, she will sit and watch a whole wildlife program.
We thought for a long time it was just pot luck,but we had the one show on the other evening and she took no notice until the ducks came on.

I'm always amazed how dogs fit in almost seamlessly into the human world. At the very least this shows an amazing adaptability.

My communication with our Springer fluctuates to the almost telepathic to utter mutual bafflement. With just a nod in a direction he will take a particular fork in a path (even if he's a long way off).
Or say he's 100m ahead he will sit at just a hand gesture and wait for me.
Cool Cool Cool

At other times he will just sit and look pathetic when I open the car door for him to get in (even if we're heading out for a walk) Confused Confused Confused

I often speak out loud about what I am about to do and he seems to understand completely- even making the first move to do whatever it is I said (although he hardly ever reacts to the word 'walk'.)

At other times he seems to have mislaid his brain (or my communication is so eratic) that he can't make head-nor-tail of the simplest gesture.

There're several consistencies though:
He always smells good and loves a hug more than anything.
His has the waggiest tail ever.
Very Happy Very Happy

Our Old English adored my Mum, went out with her whenever she went out. if she picked up the car keys he was at the door.
but he could tell the difference between her everyday bag and her work bag and if she had that one he didn't budge.
He would hide if she went to the cupboard she kept the brushes in and we had to spell Park.
they have acute vision when out and about. I believe they see in a sepia but who can really tell?
My lab cross can spot a mouse in dense undergrowth at quite a distance and see the deer move across 100m of forest Rolling Eyes
perhaps TV images are accessible to them?
I love the idea of your JRT liking the wildlife programs.

re telly perhaps the modern types with a fast refresh rate are more fun to watch than a dot scanning a screen like the old crt type.

both of my hounds like telly ,chompski is most put out by bears eating his salmon and ki has a professional interest in sheep herding shows

both of them like wildlife and you've been framed animal clips

re language they understand about 500 words and phrases verbally,non verbal probably more.
dogs speak verbally and non verbally in words and phrases but humans are not as bi lingual as mutts

re sight they have excellent eyesight but their colour and movement detection vision is adapted to sorting "prey"from background rather than "how ripe is my berry"like human eyesight.their night vis is better than human

their sense of smell and their interpretation of smell is awesome
their hearing is very good

there is no proof of canine telepathic ability but it seems like they might have such skills ,probably as we have little insight into how good their senses are (cos we is near deaf dumb and blind as mere humans)


I have lived with border collies that loved the series " One Man And His Dog ", and German Sheps' that were transfixed when any wildlife came on screen. And yet I have heard / seen "experts" say that dogs cannot interpret the pixellation of the screen.

modern telly they seem to take in every detail

old crt they seemed to listen to the noises and miss the picture

the first time ki saw sheep on telly she popped round the back to see where they had gone (and she has a small collection of working/trialing dvds of her own)

she is quite " tut tut tutty" if a trials mutt commits a foul by nipping and is quite interested in the science of herding Laughing Laughing Laughing

she has only done it once for real (to return 2 sheep back to from whence they came)and she was a natural with a bit of (very worried) commanding from me Shocked im not a dog training herder ,although ron n me could move stock or re pen a "loose"moo quite well,so i recon she learnt it from telly .(or the saluki live catch instinct adapts to herding needs quite well )

It always surprises me how much some of the members of our little pack understand and manage to communicate. It also surprises me how some folks automatically assume there is a difference in ability between "proper" dogs and the toy or lap breeds.

I used to have a beautiful red tri Border Collie that I'd trained to hand signals so that as long as she was in sight I could control her. My wife had a Toy Poodle pup that I never actually trained. We began to notice that she was picking up everything I was teaching Omra just by watching what was going on. She is now 15, deaf and nearly blind but still walks to heel without a lead and can see well enough to respond to hand signals.

Having 4 Toy Poodles I have found that they are every bit as intelligent as the "proper" Border Collies though perhaps in a slightly different way. We also have (on a whim of the other half) 4 Chihuahuas -even less of a "proper" dog than the poodles who at least have hunting ancestry. They communicate far better than the collies or poodles and got us trained properly quicker than either of the other breeds! The dog, Flynn (bought as a stud but has absolutely no idea) moves and acts exactly like my collie used to when herding the chickens and is a real help with them and is a pretty good little mouser. They are also an absolute delight to live with!

the mexicans are proper dogs ,the one i know best is a "dude".
poodles of all sizes are quite smart and will often show considerable talents.

My JRT gets wildly excited by anything with four legs on the television. The first few episodes of Wolf Hall were problematic - trying to watch through a terrier's arse while his nose was pressed to the screen when the horses were on resulted in much shouting and throwing of things.
Cows he's ambivalent about, but sheep get him very excited. And any sign of another dog and he goes batshit bonkers. Well, more so than usual...

Laughing ahhh

I've noticed that our Chis and Poodles have a completely different reaction to other dogs being gromed. The Chis can't get their heads round it at all. The difference is in the way they prioritize I think. The Chi's, having upright ears, are sight oriented and go spare when they see one of the poodles after it's been trimmed whereas the poodles, having droopy ears and being scent oriented aren't bothered by seeing the others trimmed but go mad when one of them has been bathed and smells different. They all love the telly though -mostly animal programmes but now and then someone will come on that one or another of them will take a real shine to! Perhaps they look like someone familiar to the dog?

Our old cat also loves to watch nature programmes...and One Man and his Dog is an absolute favourite. Also anything with lions, tigers or leopards makes his eyes go very wide and his tail sticks straight up in the air. Spring watch is his second favourite.


The younger cat ignores the telly altogether.
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