3 min read


Can Dogs Hear FaceTime?



3 min read


Can Dogs Hear FaceTime?


One of the biggest innovations that became very, very popular and mainstream with the invention of the smartphone is FaceTime and video chatting. This means that people can now enjoy talking with family members and friends face-to-face, even thousands of miles away. It helps you continue to build strong bonds and keep up with your family members. 

However, could one of your most important family members not be able to hear or sense you while you're on FaceTime? Can your dog hear you if you decide to FaceTime them?


Signs Your Dog Might or Might Not Recognize You Over FaceTime

Though every dog reacts differently, there are a few signs you might notice if your dog recognizes you over a camera. They might start out by trying to sniff you. Of course, dogs can't smell over FaceTime, so they might try to investigate further. Their ears could perk up to try to identify your voice and other regular sounds. If they realize it's you, they might start to jump up and down, wag their tail, and bark excitedly.

However, if your dog doesn't recognize you, once they sniff and listen to the phone for a few minutes, they’ll probably act like nothing new is happening. They might look at you for a few minutes and even tilt their head out of curiosity. Ultimately, though, they might just lose interest and walk away. Don't be offended, they just probably don’t get it.

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice if your dog recognizes you:

  • Barking
  • Jumping Up
  • Wag Tail
  • Sniffing
  • Ears Up

Other Signs

Here are some signs you might notice if your dog doesn't recognize you:

  • Acting Like Nothing New Is Happening
  • Tilting Their Head And Looking At You
  • Losing Interest
  • Walking Away

History of Dogs and Smart Phones


The history behind the smartphone is relatively short. Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, launching us into the future. Now, there are many options for smartphones and they come along with many innovations. You can do just about anything with a smartphone. Everything from budgeting to ordering food to video chatting with anyone else in the world who has a smartphone is now at your fingertips. It's crazy how much you can do! 

Dogs really don't use phones. There have been some innovations in recent years where companies have invented cameras for you to be able to watch and speak to your dog while you're not home. There's even a camera where you can dispense treats to your dog if they walk over and interact with you. However, dogs really don't always appear to understand what a smartphone does. This may be due to how they sense the world around them.

A dog lover recently told a story about her trying to FaceTime her pup while she was away for an extended period of time. She had a family member FaceTime her and then she tried to talk her pup. Her dog looked at the camera, seemed excited at first, and sniffed the air. After a few minutes, he walked away and stopped reacting to her calling him back to talk. So it appeared he didn't understand what was happening.

Science Behind Dogs Hearing Phones


So, why would your dog maybe not understand video chatting? They have super-keen senses, so you would think they'd be able to sense you, right? Wrong. Their senses might be what is holding them back from understanding. Dogs have amazing senses of hearing that far surpass humans abilities. Dogs can hear things that are as much as 80 feet away, while humans can maybe hear something 20 feet away, according to Service Dog Central. So, dogs are able to hear and identify your voice - potentially the sounds you make when you move around and more.

Dogs also have an amazing sense of smell. In fact, they have 220 million olfactory receptors, according to Animal Planet. Dogs use their senses of hearing and smell to pick up on things around them. They are also amazing at studying routines and patterns. So, video chatting with you might be very, very confusing for them. 

They can probably hear you, but you might sound different over the phone, and they certainly can't smell you. So, they might not think you're even there. Some sources even says dogs use smell and hearing at the same time to determine what’s going on around them. So, that might make it even more confusing for them.

Training Your Dog to Respond to You Over FaceTime


If your pup does recognize that it's you, you might want to have your friend holding the phone give your pup a treat to positively reinforce them recognizing you. It'll also communicate that you love them even though you're not there. 

Some dog owners even buy special equipment that allows them to talk to their dog via camera when they are not home and even dispense treats. So, positive reinforcement of recognition is just about the only thing you can do to try to teach your dog to understand video chatting.

So, can dogs hear you over facetime? Absolutely! They may not recognize you, though.

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By Katie Anderson

Published: 05/01/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

Wag! Specialist
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