Do Dogs Understand Time?


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Have you noticed how your dog gets excited when itโ€™s time for the daily walk? If yes, then have you wondered if dogs actually understand the concept of time? Although this may seem like a silly thing at first, given a deep thought, it seems like a very interesting matter. There are plenty of examples that seem to indicate that dogโ€™s understand time such as getting restless around the time that you leave for work.Owners often wonder whether these behaviors are indicative of an innate understanding of time in dogs.

But do dogs really understand time the way we do?

Well, no according to animal behavior experts, dogs donโ€™t understand time in the way that we do. Humans understand time in terms of artificially constructed units such as seconds, minutes and hours. For us, time is quantifiable. Our memories are stored in terms of these units, and so, when we recall something, we recall it according to the timelines that we have created.Dogs, on the other hand, do not understand time in terms of units. Dogs live in the moment, and so their actions are not influenced by the future or past. For dogs, life is purely experiential and not theoretical. Of-course, they do learn certain behaviors, but this only based in the experiences (positive or negative) they have had in the past. They are unable to understand the logic behind these behaviors.Living in the moment also means that dogs have a short attention span. They are easily distracted by new stimuli. This is more evident in the fact that dogs cannot understand that you will be backsoon when you leave- for him, if you are not before him, you are simply gone. It takes a dog very long to understand that your leaving will be followed by a return. For a dog, this absence is not measured in units, but simply in the length of time for how long youโ€™ve been missing from his sight. In other words, youโ€™re either gone for a long time, or a short time. How long or short, your dog wouldnโ€™t know.

What do we do when we are gone?

Now that you know dogs live in the moment, you can take better decisions about how you can keep him engaged when youโ€™re not around. Pet owners feel very upset about leaving their dogs at home when they have to go out. Well, try things like giving toys, or other things that can capture your dogโ€™s attention so that he doesnโ€™t remember youโ€™re not around.For more options and ideas about how you can help your dog be engaged in your absence, take a look at our


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