Different instances can cause you to become separated from your dog. It might be breakup or divorce, where your ex gets to keep your furry friend, or it might be another form of departure. Despite all the possible instances, you might be wondering if your dog will ever remember you. Many people are fully convinced that after several weeks or months, their dogs will forget all about them. Thoughts such as these might be justified, or they might not, and for this reason, we have gone on in-depth research to figure out canine psychology, behavior, and any medication if need be.
How Long do Dogs Remember Their Owners
It should be stated in this article, before moving on that studying the full nature and science behind dog memory is extremely tough. It involves a systematic research process where the dog is taken through a series of psychological tests, in a bid to assess their brain activity.
It is well believed that the memory of canines differs significantly from that of the human being. After a series of tests and experiments, scientists have discovered the average memory span of every dog. They claim that dogs have both long and short term memories, which is why your dog is still able to remember your voice or face after you’ve spent a long time in the hospital or on vacation.
How Does a Dogs Short-Term Memory Work?
The first type of memory we will be discussing is the short term memory of dogs. Their short term memory is the type that allows all dogs to retain specific events that mean something to them. Most times, these selected events are forgotten after twenty or ten seconds. A typical example is when you come home from a vacation to find your shoes chewed up.
Since it has been more than ten seconds, even probably more than a month, there will be no point in scolding your dog because he/she will not remember. All dogs love to exist in the present; thus they don’t think about the past. Your dog will not remember chewing your shoes because they don’t think about past occurrences.
Do Dogs Have Long-Term Memory Like Humans?
We move onto their next memory type is the long term memory. Their long term memory, however, is very different from the long term memory of humans. With humans, we can recall specific events or a series of events after they’ve occurred. These memories usually stay with us for a very long time. In humans, such long term memory is referred to as associative memory.
If you’re someone who gives attention to your dog, or there’s another one who loves your dog a lot, your pet is highly likely to remember this feeling when they come into contact with them either via sight or smell. To have such a reaction from your dog, you will need to be extremely friendly with the dog.
The Sense of Smell
One of the important ways dogs can keep memories and feelings with people they connect with; they make use of their smell. In their noses are over 300 million olfactory receptors that allow them to retain scents. This is way more than the 6 million receptors found in humans. With such numbers, it is safe to say that a dog’s ability to analyze smells is over forty times greater than that of humans. Your canine is bound to remember your scent and react in a familiar way he/she can smell and see you, and this will happen even if your face were to change.
Another way dogs keep you in their memory is via face recognition. According to some research undertaken in Italy, dogs can discern their masters by merely relying on their eyes. This is a stronger sense compared to their noses because their eyes enable them to identify you and who you are. Your dog will never forget you, provided he has very healthy eyes. The sad truth, however, is that as they grow, the eyes of dogs get impaired, and this reduces their ability to discern and identify people they know. The maturity of a canine and its proportional loss of sight often leaves them to rely on their sense of smell.
‘Dogs have no concept of time‘ is an ancient saying that is known by many dog lovers and experts. Even though there is some amount of truth to this saying, there is another truth that states that dogs make use of routine activities and tasks to discern the time. One of these routines is their hunger levels, and they connect this feeling with your return home, to feel the excitement. The level of enthusiasm may cause your dog’s tummy to growl increasingly with every hour you’re gone. It is for this reason that dogs give a much happier reunion to their owners when they’ve been gone for more than a day.
A Heart-warming Reunion
After long periods of separation, studies have shown that dogs offer a more significant amount of affection to their owners. This means that the more time you spend outside, the higher his level of excitement upon your return. It is for this reason that many dogs experience intense depression when their owners have been gone for very long. No matter how long you’ve been gone, your dog is going to remember you and be relieved to see you. If your dog’s caretaker identifies any form of anxiety and depression, it will be best for you to choose a secluded reunion away from people and loads of attention.
How Long Will, Your Dog, Remember Another Dog?
We have established the fact dog remember their owners at all times, regardless of the amount of time they spend apart. In this paragraph, we find out how well dogs can remember other dogs. One thing to note is how friendly dogs can be. They use the same technique of recognition for humans and dogs, which is via the sense of smell. Once they meet another dog, they sniff them for easy identification. After the sniffing has gone on for several weeks, dogs will remember their play pals without much effort.
- Nancy Kerns, Do Dogs Recognize Us With Smell More Than Sight?, Whole Dog Journal
- Caryn Anderson, Do Dogs Recognize Their Masters After a Long Absence?, The Nest
- Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM, Do Dogs Recognize Facial Expressions?, VCA Hospitals
- Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Dogs, The MSPCA–Angell
- Matt Shipman, How Does My Dog Always Know When I’m Coming Home?, NCSU