How Does Dog Memory Work?

They say an elephant never forgets but can animals really remember things? What do you know about dog memory?

Dog memory is strong

Well, they might have richer memories than we think. A few years ago, scientists believed that animals were automated by reflex and habit and that memory is something special to humans. But studies have found that animals can recall events from years — even decades ago. Bottlenose dolphins remember the whistles of other dolphins they’d met 20 years in the past.

The difficult thing to determine in animals is if they have something called episodic memory.

Episodic memory is the ability to time travel through your head and remember the details of everything you that has happened before. It is just remembering where you have parked your car or what Miley Cyrus wore to the 2013 VMA.

This is a little harder to prove in animals because you can’t exactly ask Fido what he did yesterday, and studies have shown that animals actually have a terrible short-term memory.

How Strong is Dog Memory

Dogs forget an event within two minutes, chimps within 20 seconds, so they probably don’t remember things like we do. But that doesn’t actually mean they don’t have strong memories.

In fact, so many animals have incredibly strong associative memories – that is memories that are attached to important events and information.

Your dog hates going to the vet because they have a strong memory attached to it. Thanks to the dog memory, they perceive it as dangerous and will always hate you for taking them there.

Teaching Your Dog The Sit Command

But that means animals are likely to remember events and things that mean a lot to them. That is also the reason why your dog looks excited to see you every time you come home.

That’s probably ’cause he’s got a lot of great memories with you.


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