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Is Bluey Good for Dogs? Exploring the Hype

From beloved children’s cartoon to a viral TikTok sensation for dogs, Bluey is having quite a moment. But why are dog owners on social media singing the praises of this animated series about a Blue Heeler? Let’s explore the Bluey-dog theory, why dogs might like watching Bluey, and what some animal behavior experts say about it.

What is Bluey, and why is it being promoted for dogs?

Bluey is an Australian animated series with a lovable cast of canine characters that has become a favorite of children and, reportedly, dogs. The series follows the adventures of its titular character, Bluey, a spirited Blue Heeler puppy, and several other dog characters. While Bluey was intended for kids, some parents noticed that their dogs also seemed interested in watching the show, leading to the viral Bluey-dog TikTok theory.

In recent months, videos of dogs watching Bluey and owners talking about their dog’s love of the cartoon have taken social media by storm, especially on TikTok. This has led to many discussions and theories on why dogs might favor the show.

Why do dogs like watching Bluey?

There are a few reasons why Bluey might be appealing to dogs, from its use of “dog-friendly” colors and high-pitched sounds to its canine cast and short, fast-paced episodes that might hold their attention.

@thedachshunddivas Bluey has all the colours they can see 🥹 #bluey #dogswatchingtv #puppy #cute #dogtvwatch #dogswatchingbluey ♬ Married Life (From "Up") - Sergy el Som

Bluey has colors dogs can see

Contrary to popular belief about dogs being colorblind, dogs have dichromatic vision, meaning they can see two variations of colors, mainly blues and yellows. They don’t see reds or greens. Since the dominant colors in Bluey are bright blues and yellows, it’s not far-fetched to assume that this might contribute to dogs being interested in the show.

Bluey uses high-pitched sounds

Most of the characters in Bluey speak with a high-pitched voice, like the one we’re all guilty of using when we “baby talk” to our dogs. While many dog owners will tell you their dog loves this, research into dogs and “baby talk” indicates that some dogs respond more positively to this high-pitched style of speech. Dogs may also be drawn to other sound effects, like squeaky noises that might mimic their favorite toy.

Bluey is full of dogs

While Bluey may be a cartoon show, the characters on-screen are dogs, and they display dog behaviors such as barking, howling, and tail-wagging. These might make them more recognizable and intriguing to dogs than other shows featuring human characters. Some studies suggest that dogs prefer watching television that features dogs, even if those dogs are cartoons.

What do dog experts think of Bluey for dogs?

Like many theories circulating on social media, the Bluey-dog theory does not have a specific science behind it, but a few animal behavior experts have given their opinions on why some dogs might be enthralled with the show.

In an interview with People Magazine, Amanda Farah, National Training & Behavior Coordinator for Best Friends Animal Society, stated, “There are many reasons why your dog loves watching Bluey.” She mentioned things like the colors, high-pitched sounds, and constant movement, common themes in episodes of Bluey, that can be intriguing to dogs. She also added that dogs might find the “predictable movement patterns” on the show to be “very soothing.”

In Australia, where Bluey is produced, noted animal behaviorist Kate Mornement offered ABC News other theories on why dogs might like Bluey (and other shows like it). She conveys that high-definition “has made it much easier for dogs to see the images on the screens.” Furthermore, she mentions, "I've seen some really interesting videos on social media of dogs watching TV in different contexts, and they tend to be a lot more interested when it's animals that they're watching.”

Overall, it seems there can be many factors that go into why some dogs enjoy watching Bluey and it can be beneficial for providing mental stimulation.

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Is Bluey good for dogs to watch?

Just like people, dogs can have their preferences regarding television shows. If your dog enjoys watching Bluey, there’s no harm in leaving it on for them for some extra entertainment. However, when leaving any sort of television programming on for your dog, it is essential to observe how they react. Some dogs can become overstimulated or agitated watching other dogs on-screen. If your dog displays any reactive or stressed behaviors like barking, howling, whining, pacing, or seeming frightened by the noise, turn it off or find something more calming to watch. There are plenty of other options for dog-friendly programming, such as DogTV.

Whenever incorporating any sort of television into your dog’s routine, it’s important to ensure it’s not used to replace other forms of physical activity or mental stimulation. Similar to how too much television can impact children’s health, some of the same effects can happen to our dogs if we allow television to dominate over other activities and they become too sedentary.

While leaving the television on for your dog when you’re not home might help alleviate boredom, your dog will tire of it quickly if it’s the only mental stimulation it's given. Make sure your dog is still getting plenty of walks and playtime, and switch up screen time with dog puzzle toys, snuffle mats, and other forms of enrichment.

Final verdict on Bluey: helpful or just hype?

While many pet owners online say Bluey has helped provide entertainment for their dogs, some say their pup wasn’t interested. Like many things, whether Bluey is helpful or just hype comes down to your dog’s personal preference.

If your dog enjoys watching Bluey, it can be a fun thing to put on when you’re busy or away from home. Just make sure that screen time doesn’t replace other forms of activity. And if your dog doesn’t love Bluey, that’s okay — you can still enjoy all the videos online of dogs that do, as the internet’s fascination with dogs watching Bluey continues.

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