Shop Now

Shop Now

About

search
Shop Now
Subscription BenefitsRefer, Get $40
pet-lab_logo
PetLab Search Icon
Get $40
PetLab Cart Icon
0
    Do Dogs Have A Sense Of Time?

    Do Dogs Have A Sense Of Time?

    by Behavior / 3 min read

    Listen To This Blog Instead

     

     

    Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

    Summary: In this blog, we learn all about a dog’s sense of time. We’ll find out how dogs perceive time, how their's varies in complexity to a human’s and we’ll learn how dog time is actually connected to memory and smell… 

     

    Time Is Connected To Memory

    Like ours, a dog’s sense of time is connected to memory. Humans have two types of memory: implicit and explicit. An example of implicit memory would be something like how to make a cup of coffee or ride a bike and explicit memory is things like what we did for Thanksgiving last year or what we learned in school. 

    If a human experiences memory loss (whether this is due to dementia or a condition like an amnesia), this usually goes hand in hand with a distorted perception of time too.

    Unlike us, dogs only have implicit and episodic memory which means they remember how to perform commands and where to go to the toilet, but are only able to remember distinct events in their life. For example, your dog may remember you leaving the house, but they won’t be able to process exactly how long it’s been.

    A large golden-furred, short-haired dog stands on their hind legs and rest their front paws on a window sill. They look out of a window that has translucent black netting over it

    A Dog’s Sense Of Time

    That said, a famous 2011 study on a dog’s perception of time revealed that the longer a dog was separated from their owner, the more intense their response was to their return which meant the researchers could conclude that dogs are affected by the amount of time they’re left alone. However, it’s worth noting that these dogs didn’t display signs of distress whilst their owner was gone: their response was solely triggered by their master's return. 

    Interestingly, though it’s been established a dog’s memory is connected with time, it’s been theorized that so has a dog’s sense of smell and how intense a scent is! A dog can interpret the intensity of a scent to work out how much time has passed. The stronger a smell is, the more recently an event occurred. So, if you left the house a few hours prior, your dog will know it’s been a while because your scent will have diminished in the house.

    This is why it’s sometimes helpful for dogs with separation anxiety to leave a worn item of clothing in their bed when you go so they are comforted by believing that even though they can’t see you, they can smell you strongly and thus believe you’re close by. 

    For dog’s that experience separation anxiety, it can also be advisable when you go out to leave music playing or the television on, to make sure they can see outside, ensure they have lots of toys to play with, and/or invest in placing them in an ethical, well-reputed doggy daycare or to hire a properly vetted, trusted sitter to come and visit them at your house.

    Senior Dogs And Time

    Senior canines may develop a condition called CCD (canine cognitive dysfunction) which is often referred to as “doggy dementia”, although it’s dissimilar in many ways from our experience of dementia as humans. 

    CCD often affects a dog’s memory, spatial awareness, learning and is exhibited with symptoms like disturbed sleep patterns, disorientation, and seeming confused. Therefore, we can assume that a dog with CCD will also have a distorted perception of time when compared to a dog without CCD. Read our blog on CCD In Dogs to learn more about the condition and how best to support a dog living with it.

    Sources

    Author Hertz, Lisa “Do Dogs Have A Sense of Time?” The Labrador Site, Jun 30. 2018 https://www.thelabradorsite.com/do-dogs-have-a-sense-of-time/

    “Do Dogs Have A Sense Of Time?”, I And Love And You, Nov 12. 2020 https://iandloveandyou.com/blogs/pet-blog/do-dogs-have-a-sense-of-time

    heart icon

    Thanks for reading

    Share

    instagram icon
    twitter icon

    Meet the Author

    MoreAllHealth & WellnessTips & TricksBehaviorSupplementsNatural RemediesRecipes

    Newsletter

    Join Our Mailing List For Pupdates & Access To Special Discounts!

    COMPANY

    • About Us
    • Order Tracking
    • Contact Us

    © 2022 PetLab Co.

    Pay Securely With

    • visa image
    • mastercard image
    • amex image
    • paypal image
    • discover network image

    This Site does not provide any medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

    Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read, seen or heard on https://thepetlabco.com/ or any social media account owned and/or operated by PetLab Group Ltd and affiliated companies, including Amplify Limited and PetLab Co. Inc. (collectively “PetLab Co.“). Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon information provided on this site, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site or any social media accounts owned and operated by PetLab Co. is solely at your own risk.

    Cart (0)

    Est. Total:

     $0.00

    All transactions secured and encrypted