Dogs Recognize Their Owners Even Just By Their Voice
Our dogs recognize us, and are they capable of it even when neither sight nor smell are there to guide them, so they can only use their voice as a reference? The answer is yes according to a study by the Loránd Eötvös University in Hungary, published in the journal Animal Cognition. The researchers invited 28 owner-dog pairs to play hide and seek in the laboratory. The dogs had to find their owner in one of two hiding places set up, while a stranger was hiding behind the other. The voice of the owner from his hiding place and in a neutral tone resonated with that of a stranger from the other. The rounds performed were different: the ‘friendly’ voice was overall combined with those of 14 different strangers, some more similar, others different. Dogs found their owner in 82% of cases. To make sure the smells didn’t help them, in the last two rounds the scholars made the owner’s voice ring from where a stranger was hiding — the dogs kept looking for him, showing that they didn’t use smell in this task. The researchers also explored what exactly in the entries helped dogs choose. “People — explains Anna Gábor, lead author of the study — mainly use three properties: tone, noise and timbre, to differentiate one person from another. If two voices differ in one property that is important for dogs, deciding should be easier” .