Updated June. 03, 2014 06:43
This reporter sat in front of a TV with Cookie and My Precious in the office of Channel Happy Dog, an Internet broadcasting channel for pet dogs in Yeouido, Seoul a few days ago. Cookie is a six-year-old Labrador Retriever and My Precious is a seven-month-old Siberian husky.
When a dog bit off a chewing gum for dogs on TV, Cookie moved forward and sniffed it. When colorful billiard balls rolled fast with a sound on TV, the head of My Precious moved following the balls. Though the program was like a boring surveillance camera for me, it was exhilarating for the dogs.
Broadcasting programs for dogs emerged at a time when the number of pet dogs reached 1.27 million in Korea (estimated by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ministry). CJ Hellovision purchased a license for Dog TV from Israel in February and started to air the program in Korea, following Israel and the U.S. CJ`s new channel started to produce its own program from last month and airs it on the Internet.
The primary viewers are dogs that stay in the house alone. The owners turn on TV for their pet dogs. With the increasing number of single-person households, the number of dog viewers is also on the rise. The dogs that are left alone at home often cry or groan, scratch doors. Park Cheol, a veterinary professor at Chonbuk National University and advisor to Channel Happy Dog, said. The dogs with separation anxiety can feel comfort by watching other dogs play on TV.
Dogs prefer watching comedies. A program for dogs often made the sound of gasping on a regular basis, which made distracted dogs pay attention and wag their tail. Kwak Sang-ki, Channel Happy Dog CEO, said, We videotape dogs playing and after getting advice from experts, we edit the sound of dogs, which they make when they are happy. For dogs in urban areas, the channel airs natural scenes with the sound of water and birds. The sound also includes high frequency sound for the stability of pet dogs researched by a team led by Professor Park Hee-myeong of the Veterinary Department of Konkuk University. As the sound is audible only to dogs, this reporter was not able to hear it. While watching TV, I felt as if I were a dog walking on the street. As the program was angled towards dogs, I could see only the legs of people and caught other dogs eyes coming from the opposite direction. It is not difficult to cast dogs. There is no fee because many dog owners want their dogs appear on TV. It casts dogs that play well rather than good-looking dogs. Programs for dogs produced in Korea do not show mutts.
Dogs like most when they see their species appear on TV. As mutts on the street have no chance to watch TV, they do not appear on TV either, said Jeong Seok-hyeon, a producer of Channel Happy Dog.