The US is going to the dogs – Israeli DogTV, that is

The program that took San Diego pooches by storm is expanding to reach some 21 million households over satellite, starting August 1.

DogTV, the made-in-Israel cable TV channel for dogs, is launching across the United States on August 1 through DirecTV, the largest satellite TV platform in the world, according to founder Ron Levi.

Levi tells ISRAEL21c that the programming will be available 24/7, reaching somewhere between 20 million and 21 million households. Americans share their homes with an estimated 78.2 million pet canines. Many of the dogs are left alone while their owners are at work or school, and this is why DogTV was invented.

“It is a problem that needs to be solved, because dogs are not cool with being alone,” says Levi. “We believe this can be a great solution pretty much everywhere. We’re talking to other countries as well.”

DogTV shows are scientifically programmed to keep pooches stimulated, happy and comforted when they’re home alone. The pilot programs — a smash hit in dog-friendly San Diego — were developed with input from Tufts University animal behavior expert Prof. Nicholas Dodman, “Animal Planet” trainer Victoria Stilwell and animal rights activist Warren Eckstein.

Levi and Dodman have been busy on the US talk-show circuit this summer ahead of the launch. Even Conan O’Brien mentioned DogTV on his late-night program.

Content is constantly being changed and updated, says Levi, and he adds this scoop for ISRAEL21c readers: “We are developing some programming for dog ‘parents’ for the evening hours. We’re in the middle of editing as we speak.”

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About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.