There are going to be times when we have to be away from home but it doesn’t mean that we like it. That is especially true when we have a faithful dog waiting for us to return.
Perhaps that is why many people will Facetime with their dog. It brings us comfort to see them face-to-face electronically and we hope that it brings them comfort as well.
If there’s one thing that we know about dogs, it’s the fact that they recognize our voice. The problem is, it can sometimes be difficult to know if they recognize us when they see us on a computer screen. Do they? Let’s take a look at the science.
The first thing that you should realize is that your dog recognizes your face, according to the Huffington Post, when they see you in real life and they probably recognize you when they see you in a still photograph. Once the images start moving, however, it may be a different ball game due to “Flickr sensitivity.”
Just like humans, dogs have a limited perspective when it comes to recording images that come in through their eyes. Flickr sensitivity is the rate that the information is gathered. Dr. Stanley Coren reported in Psychology Today, saying that Flickr sensitivity in dogs is higher than what is seen in humans.
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When a human looks at a video chat, their visual receptors automatically adjust for brightness and that allows the brain to identify the person on the other side of the screen. Since dogs have a higher Flickr sensitivity, they aren’t able to pick out specific images when things are moving around. It just ends up being a lot of shapes to them that are jerking to and fro.
As far as taking in information visually, dogs do so 25% faster than humans. They can detect motion just fine, which is what allows them to be on the top of their game when a treat is flying in their direction. On the other hand, they may not be able to easily identify images when they are moving about on the screen.
Size is also something that makes a difference when it comes to facial recognition for dogs. When looking at a big screen, such as a high definition television screen, they may be able to identify what they are seeing. Smaller screens, such as a tablet or phone, have a much more compressed image and that makes it more difficult.
Dogs use their eyes for a wide variety of reasons but they are especially suited for hunting. It makes it easy for them to see movement when it takes place far away and their peripheral vision is off the charts. Small screens and compressed data, however, make it difficult for dogs to identify faces.
If you really want your dog to recognize you when you call, try investing in a supersized, high-definition monitor. You can always connect through Skype or another computer-based program rather than trying to chat on a cell phone.
If your dog is not recognizing you on a tablet, try speaking because they can recognize your voice. Studies have shown that dogs are able to identify individual voices and can even recognize the tone of voice that you are using. When calling them, use a calm voice and speak in a positive tone with them.
Then again, the compression rate for sound coming through a smaller device is also great enough that it could make a difference. There are going to be times when, despite how much you want them to, they will not be able to recognize your face or voice on a smaller device. It often depends upon the dog and the technology that is being used.
Setting up a Skype or other computer-based chat date with your dog ahead of time can help things go smoothly. You might also want to do something else, leave something with your scent behind for them to appreciate.
A dog has 44 times more olfactory receptors in their noses than humans. It is a much stronger sense for canines compared to sight and sound. Leave behind something that has your scent on it, whether it is a dirty shirt or bedding and your dog will have a reminder of you until you return.
To break it down on a simple level, dogs aren’t always able to recognize their owners on a screen or tablet.
Facetiming with your pets while you are out of town is still a good idea. Even if they aren’t able to recognize you, you get the good feeling of being as close as you can to them.
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