If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that dogs are very loyal and smart pets. Now a new study carried out in Budapest, Hungary reveals that our furry friends can recognize their owner by just the sound of their voice, in the same way that humans use pitch and timbre to differentiate a specific voice.
“This is the first demonstration that dogs can tell apart their owner’s voice from many others,” Andics Attilaleader, head of the laboratory at Eötvös Loránd University explained, after studying 28 dogs accompanied by their owners.
The researchers played hide-and-seek with the dogs, who quickly found their owners, placing them strategically behind strangers to make it more difficult for them. They also made sure that dogs only used their hearing and not their sense of smell, recording and playing the owner’s voice from where the strangers were hiding.
The study seems to be successful, as it was reported that in 82% cases the pets found their owners without the use of their smell.
This means that dogs can identify their owner over the phone, and could be important for pets having separation anxiety. Recognizing that dogs use pitch (higher or lower), noisiness (cleaner or harsher), and timbre (brighter or darker) to identify a specific voice.
Researchers also found surprising that dogs don’t need to use their nose all the time, declaring that “probably in a lot of cases dogs have to switch on their nose to find things and they don’t just use it routinely all the time.”