Stephen: Dogs can recognize owners by the sound of their voice

Published on February 16th, 2022 @ 5:34 PM


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You know your dog has an amazing sense of smell, but it turns out they can recognize their owners by voice only. Researchers in Hungary found that dogs were able to differentiate their owner’s voice from the voice of a stranger when both humans were hiding in the same room and reading out recipes in a neutral tone. Even when the stranger’s voice was altered to sound more like the owner’s voice, dogs could find their owner in 82 percent of cases.

Researchers also took measures to make sure the dogs could not be helped out via their sense of smell. Lead study author Anna Gábor explains, “People mostly make use of three properties: pitch (higher or lower), noisiness (cleaner or harsher), and timbre (brighter or darker) to differentiate others. Dogs may make use of the same voice properties or different ones. If two voices differ in a property that matters for dogs, decisions should be easier.” The data showed if the owner’s and stranger’s voices differed more in pitch and noisiness it helped the dogs to recognize their owners voice, but timbre and other sound properties did not.

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