But, according to Jennifer Goldbeck, a professor at the University of Maryland, that might not be exactly the feeling the dogs are communicating. Rather, she says, these dogs are expressing agitation. Goldbeck, who co-authored a study on the practical and ethical issues involved with pet video chats, explained that these Skyping dogs might actually recognize their owners' voices, but that might not be the only noise to which they're responding.
"[These] dogs are responding to sound... but just sounds in general," Goldbeck said. "In this video, there are lots of howling sounds and other noises that are likely to get a dog to react. In a few cases, it seems like the dog may really be recognizing the owner's voice." But, as Goldbeck and her colleague found in their study, this might actually be cause for a dog's discontent. "It's unclear if [voice recognition] upsets the dogs -- because they can't smell us, and that is their main sensory recognition -- or if it is entertaining for them. My intuition is to lean toward agitation rather than adorableness."