Dogs Recognize You By Voice, According To A New Animal Cognition Study

Young man pulling on dog's (French Bulldog) ears while dog looks at the camera

(Picture Credit: Davin G Photography/Getty Images)

According to a new study published in Animal Cognition, dogs recognize you by voice.

While most of us already had an inkling this was the case, it’s now a matter of scientific fact.

Furthermore, the study suggests that dogs don’t even need a combination of their other senses to recognize us.

How Dogs Recognize You By Voice

Using similar audio indicators as humans, dogs can pick you out from a crowd. We do so using things like voice pitch, inflection, cadence, and volume. Apparently, our pups do the same!

Researchers from the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, set themselves to the task of proving this, reports CNN.

“This is the first demonstration that dogs can tell apart their owner’s voice from many others,” says Andics Attila, head researcher.

For their study, they brought in 28 dogs and their parents for a game of hide-and-seek. Two hiding places were set up, with a parent behind one and a stranger behind another.

Then, the dogs were tasked with determining, by voice, which hiding spot their parent was in. Recordings of voices were played, reading out a simple recipe.

Each pup went through 14 rounds, with 14 different stranger voices played; ones which closely resembled those of their human parents.

According to the study’s press release, the dogs correctly recognized their parent’s voices 82 percent of the time.

They Don’t Even Need Their Noses

In order to determine that the dogs were finding their parents by voice, rather than smell, a bit of trickery was employed.

For the final two rounds, the researchers played the voices from the stranger’s hiding spot. The dogs still went towards their parent’s voices.

“Dogs’ high choosing success rate, their ability to discriminate their owner’s voice from a variety of control voices, and the fact that dogs’ choices were not confounded by either olfactory cues or speaker order indicate that dogs can reliably use identity cues carried by speech,” the study says.

Do you think your dogs can recognize you by your voice? Do these studies help you understand your dog better? Let us know in the comments below.