Islington tails wagging in front of TV

Dogs in Islington can’t get enough of their favourite TV shows, according to new research conducted by Digital UK.

They found that the average dog in the borough now spends on average almost two hours in front of the box each day, while one in six pooches watch TV for up to three hours per day.

The findings, commissioned by TV switchover body Digital UK, also suggest the number of furry fans is set to grow as analogue television is turned off – experts say dogs particularly benefit from digital TV as the picture is delivered in a way that’s easier for them to watch.

Nationwide, labradors are the biggest TV addicts in the canine world – followed by Spaniels, Border Collies, Jack Russells and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. And Digital UK claims that dogs’ favourite shows are soaps, with EastEnders the favourite and boasting three times more canine viewers than programmes about dogs such as US hit The Dog Whisperer.

Noisy game shows are apparently the biggest turn-off for canines and seven per cent of dogs love watching football.

Nearly half of dog owners surveyed said their pet had a favourite programme, with one-in-three getting noticeably excited when the show’s theme tune starts playing.

Vivien Morgan, London manager for Digital UK, said: “Digital switchover will affect all types of viewers, even four-legged ones. Everyone needs to get digital on all their TVs before analogue is turned off, or find themselves in the doghouse.”

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Some 20 per cent of owners in Islington noticed their pet watched more TV since they switched from analogue to digital. Experts at charity Dogs Trust, which installs TVs in many of its kennels, have also noticed a difference.

Chris Laurence, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust, explained: “The way digital is delivered seems to make it easier for dogs to watch. We’ve thought for some time that dogs love watching telly to relax, either with their owners or by themselves. These findings show we weren’t barking mad.”