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Do dogs have a memory?

Do dogs have a memory?

The behavior of dogs, their mental abilities and the emotions they feel are factors to constantly analyze. To understand many of their attitudes, feelings and thoughts it is necessary to know more about the dog world. In this sense, it is important to discover everything about canine memory and how it works in the short and long term.

Do dogs have a memory

Socially, there is no consensus on the reliability of dogs’ memory. In fact, many people have serious doubts about whether they are able to move and travel in time and space mentally through memory, just as human beings do. To find out if dogs have memory and what canine memory is like, in we recommend that you continue reading this article.

Do dogs have memory or not?

A dog is able to remember its owner. The greatest proof of this is his reaction to seeing him arrive home every day after work or after a trip: the emotion and affection he shows at that moment, expressing an enormous joy at seeing him again, allows us to affirm that dogs DO have memory.

However, dog memory does not work the same as human memory. Other people, things and moments of a dog’s life tend to forget them, so you should not be surprised if your little furry has forgotten that walk in the mountains, in the countryside or on the beach even if it has been a very special moment in your relationship.

In fact, he probably won’t remember what you gave him just a day ago, no matter how rich he was. Dogs have the ability to remember certain things, but others come in and disappear very quickly from their brain.

Why do dogs quickly forget some things? Because they do not have the memory known as episodic, that is, the one responsible for retaining, absorbing and sealing each episode on the “hard drive”, providing a very important sense of experience.

How is the memory of dogs

Although they do not have an episodic memory, dogs have different types of memory, such as associative, olfactory and spatial.

Associative memory

Your canine friend remembers many things thanks to associative memory, that is, the one that allows you to associate certain things by turning them into a type of memories. Dogs are fully coded animals based on repetitions and habits.

A dog can survive a fall, either from the balcony of the house or from a terrace. Afterwards, you will avoid approaching that area or, at the very least, you will do so very carefully. Why would you want to avoid it? Not because of the fall itself, but because it will associate that site with fear and pain.

In addition, you will have observed on many occasions that your dog is excited to see that you are going to put the leash on him to go for a walk on the street. That feeling of joy is also the result of the association, in this case between the object and the moment of walking with you.

Olfactory memory

Dogs have some long-term memory thanks to their senses as well. Smell is one of the most developed, so it is very influential in this aspect. Through the smells of people, places, objects and foods, they can recognize them and, consequently, react.

In the same way, this efficiency of sensory memory allows your dog to associate places and environments that cause them feelings of comfort and pleasure. It also happens in the opposite case, that is, through the smell you can remember a location associated with a traumatic experience or that produces rejection by some phobia.

Spatial memory

Sensory memory gives dogs the ability to remember things thanks to spaces. As explained above, the association of a place with a smell or frequent walk through a place allows you to remember it according to the experiences experienced. Through association and repetition, a dog can also develop a spatial memory.

Can a dog forget its owner?

As we have explained throughout this oneHOWTO article, dogs have memory thanks, above all, to associative memory. Therefore, they are able to learn norms, rules of coexistence and other basic orders linked to dog training through the association of gestures and words. Dogs are also able to remember their owner by the sound of the voice or by their body odor. Therefore, they will not forget it and more if they live together daily. Feeling its smell and voice, the memory will remain intact with the passage of time.

In spite of everything, although a dog remembers its owner and other people, as well as objects, animals and actions through association, it will not have a long-term memory like ours because it will not remember very past experiences well. What you can remember is what you felt to be able to associate a place with something you consider positive or negative.

Now that you’ve learned all this about dog memory, you may be curious to know the answer to other common questions: Do dogs dream? and Do dogs have nightmares?

If you want to read similar articles to Do dogs have memory? we recommend that you enter our pet’s category.


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