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“Dog phone”: When the dog calls briefly

As of: December 26, 2021 9:38 am

The baby monitor has become an indispensable part of the family of young families. British researchers have now developed a ‘dog phone’: dogs can use to communicate with their owners.

By Imke Koehler, ARD-Studio London

Did the dog call today? The question will be asked soon. Because gentlemen and mistresses acquire a new way of communicating with their four-legged friends, or more precisely: the four-legged friend gets the opportunity to call their owners – via the “dog phone”. The dog phone has a motion sensor in a main ball. The sensor is connected to a laptop. If the dog moves the ball, it triggers a video call.

Emky Koehler
ARD-Studio London

These are social animals.

The head of the research project at the University of Glasgow, Elena Herskiej Douglas, tested the invention on a nine-year-old black Labrador zak. “In the end, he calls me about five times a day,” she says of the result of the three-month testing phase. “Then he did different things: Sometimes he would throw toys at me, sometimes he would just look, sometimes he would get really close to the screen.” According to the researcher, it varies from day to day and from one call to another.

But sometimes he would hit the ball by mistake and was more interested in the basket than the phone. Hersky Douglas says she at least saw that the dog was fine. However, the Labrador ignored your private calls.

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Helps deal with the pain of parting

However: The dog phone is said to help dogs with separation pain. Especially after all the lockdowns in which gentlemen and mistresses have been in the house so much, it shows how difficult it can be for dogs to suddenly be alone for several hours again. In such cases, a dog’s phone can help.

So is the dog calling its owner? Animal psychologist Roger Mugford is convinced that communication can work via electronic games. “What makes this research really important is that it gives us more knowledge about how smart dogs are. And these are social animals,” Mugford told the BBC. “For dogs left alone, that’s a real problem. Technology that gives them a more interesting life, they will of course use it.”

More “sharing” for the dog?

The dog in the video call is just the first step towards a whole new pet reality for study director Hirskyj-Douglas. “I think this is the beginning of how technology can give animals control of their homes: turn on the lights, turn on the heating, communicate with each other or just control their surroundings,” she says convinced. And access to a lot of things.”

Dog phone: a new form of communication for gentlemen and dogs

Imke Köhler, ARD London, December 7, 2021 6:27 pm