Skip to content

Do Dogs Recognize Voices Over The Phone

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs can recognize voices over the phone, but it depends on the individual dog's hearing and the sound quality of the phone.
  • A study found that dogs can recognize their owners' voices through loudspeakers with a high degree of accuracy, particularly if the voices differ significantly in pitch and noisiness.
  • Dogs may not react to your voice on the phone if they do not recognize you or if there are distractions interfering with the call.
  • Dogs may struggle to recognize people on a small phone screen but can hear human voices and respond to emotional tone.
Written by Jay
BsC (Hons) Animal Behaviour & Welfare graduate with a passion for advocating for misunderstood animals.
Published on
Wednesday 8 February 2023
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Do Dogs Recognize Voices Over The Phone
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

You miss your dog when you’re away, which may lead you to ask, “do dogs recognize voices over the phone?” For many pet parents and pets alike, being able to reach each other while far away is a great comfort. But do dogs know it’s you talking to them? And why do dogs not react every time they hear your voice on the phone?

The leading question here is, can dogs hear through the phone? Studies suggest that they can, but with varying abilities. Not all dogs seem to be able to, while others notice your voice with extreme ease.

Can Dogs Recognize Voices Over the Phone?

We all know that our furry friends have a very keen sense of hearing. Dogs hear almost twice as many frequencies as we do. And they can hear sounds four times farther away than us. These abilities play a major role in whether our dogs can recognize our voices from afar or not. But what does this mean for dogs recognizing our voices over the phone?

Some dogs can recognize voices over the phone, while others appear to struggle. The reasons for these differences vary a lot. Some dogs have better hearing than others, for example. Some owners have phones with better sound quality than others, making it easier for dogs to recognize the voice speaking to them. And, every dog reacts differently. Some dogs will show excitement and curiosity upon hearing a familiar voice on the phone, while others may show little interest – or perhaps none at all.

Scientific Explanation Beyond Dogs Recognizing Voices Over the Phone

A 2022 study looked at whether dogs can recognize their owners by voice alone. Researchers invited 28 dogs and owners to play hide-and-seek in the lab to find out whether this was possible. The 28 dogs were tasked with finding their owner behind one of two hiding places. Behind one wall, a stranger would read out a recipe. The dog’s owner would read out a recipe behind the other. What’s important to note in this study is that the voices were actually pre-recorded. they were played using loudspeakers at the same volume. According to the study, the dogs found their owners correctly in 82% of cases.

The study also looked at what properties helped the dogs choose. When speaking, people make use of three properties: pitch, noisiness (clear or harsh), and timbre (bright or dark). If the owners’ voices differed more in pitch and noisiness, it helped the dogs to find their owners more quickly. The researchers found that timbre and other sound properties played a lesser role. So, this research suggests that dogs may indeed recognize our voices when played through a speaker.

Can Dogs Be Trained to Recognize Your Voice Over the Phone?

Whether your dog can recognize you on the phone or not depends more on its physical abilities than it does any training. Your dog’s hearing plays a major role – is it not fully developed, or are they older with weaker hearing? Some dogs may have limited hearing due to their ear shape, ear infections, and ear injuries. The quality of your phone’s sound matters too, so if your phone’s sound is low-quality, you may not be able to encourage your dog to react to it. These are qualities that you cannot train in your dog. You can, however, reward your dog for alerting you to your voice on the phone.

Do Dogs Recognize Voices Over The Phone: FAQs

Still asking do dogs recognize voices over the phone? Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more details. If you doubt your dog’s hearing, you can always ask your vet for advice.

Why doesn’t my dog react to my voice on the phone?

Your dog may not react to your voice on the phone if they do not recognize you. Many things can interfere with your voice on the phone, including the quality of your phone’s speakers, the call quality, background noise, and noises around the home. Your dog may also lack interest if they know they cannot reach you through the phone. As well as this, dogs pay attention to our tone of voice. If you do not speak in a fun, high-pitched manner, your dog may react less to hearing you than they would in real life.

What do dogs think when we’re on the phone?

Although dogs can recognize our voices, they are not technologically savvy enough to understand what a phone does nor what it means when we speak to another person on the phone. More research is needed to answer this question, as we currently have little to go on.

Do dogs get jealous when you are on your phone?

Because dogs cannot understand what a phone does, they cannot get jealous of you being on the phone with another person. They may, however, understand that your attention is being put elsewhere. This can lead to them wanting your attention, which may cause them to act in ways that will get them just that. Some dogs may paw at you, bark, or engage in undesirable behaviors in order to get your attention away from whatever is taking it at the time.

Can my dog recognize me through FaceTime?

Dogs struggle to pick out people on a small phone screen. This is because dogs have a higher flicker sensitivity than we do – to a dog, a video on a small phone screen consists of jerky shapes and lights. They are great at detecting motion, doing so at least 25% faster than us, but will have difficulty picking out images on a screen. Conversely, your dog might be able to recognize you on a large, high-definition television, where the images are bigger and much less compressed.

What do dogs hear when humans talk?

Our dogs can hear and pay attention to how we say it. Dogs listen and pay attention similarly to us, responding not only to our words but also to our voices’ emotional tone. Your dog notices when you speak nicely to them, and will react accordingly when your tone is angry or disappointed. Dogs can also recognize specific words and assign meanings to them.

So, can dogs hear through the phone? Research suggests that they can indeed. However, whether your dog recognizes you ultimately depends on several factors that may be out of your and your pup’s control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *