Dogs seem to know when to go for a walk, go to bed, and most importantly, eat! Do dogs have a sense of time, or are these "senses" just habits they've developed over time?
Most experts agree that this is mostly habitual behavior — your dog is simply reacting to various behavioral cues that indicate it's time for supper or a stroll.
Do dogs actually have a sense of time, or is there more to this activity than meets the eye? We decided to investigate further.
The passage of time is profoundly connected to memory in humans, and events in the past connect us in time to events in the present or even events in the future.
We naturally measure the passage of time through our memories, calculating how long it has been since we awoke, got our first job, or finished high school, all of which are linked to vivid memories that put us in a specific moment in time.
Most experts concur that animals have a simpler memory and can recall specific episodes or moments in time but cannot connect them in a linear fashion.
For instance, although your dog may recall that you left for work in the morning, he or she is unable to understand how long you have been gone.
This is why your dog will meet you like you've been gone for hours if you leave for 5 minutes! However, some dogs become very nervous when left alone for long periods, indicating that they are aware of time.
Similarly, dogs will greet you with a different level of excitement if you’ve been away for a few days or weeks.
Although canines' sense of time is different from that of humans, they still have some ability to measure it.