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Do dogs have a concept of time?

Posted by mapletex (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 19, 07 at 11:50

My sister-in-law told me that dogs have no concept of time. If they are left alone for on hour or six, it's all the same to them.

While I would like to believe this, I have my doubts. Certainly they can tell day from night, and my Westie knows when it's time for his morning walk.

I don't make a habit of leaving my dog alone for long periods of time, but occasionally I have to go out for 4-5 hours. It would be nice to think that he doesn't realise that he has been alone for such a long time.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

My understanding is that they are used to a certain routine and basically their stomach juices start a-flowin at certain times when they know it's about time for food.

My boys have an excellent internal clock. My bearded collie is like an alarm clock and starts rustling around at the same time every morning, to the precise minute, every day and will let out his yawn/whine.

I think it's pretty well documented that dogs certainly do tell time.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

I'm going with a definite Yes!


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

I think they do also.
They remember things for years, so I guess that makes me believe they can understand time.
Our dogs also tell us when it is time to let them out and when bedtime is. They always seem to know exactly what time it is!


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

I can't see how any creature has no concept of time. Surely dogs know when they've been in a room or box all day, compared to one hour. They know when bedtime is, when to eat, what time the kids come home, when it's time to get up compared to waking up a little early and going back to sleep, etc.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Can I tell you about something wierd that very same dog does?

Every night when I eat dinner, he lays there under the table or next to the table or the other room.
Just as I finish my very last bite and last drink, he gets up and stands next to me.
For the life of me I cannot figure out how he know I am done. Sometimes I don't even know when I'm going to be done then I pick a number of remaining bites left then follow through and he does it every time.
How does he know I'm done eating?
It's not that I stop chewing because it happens instantly.
And it's not that I take a drink because I do that throughout the meal. And it's not the amount of time it takes because some meals are longer than others and he still knows precisely, to the second that I am finished.

How wierd is that?


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

quirky - that last little story reminds me of my golden. This isn't conception of time, but sense of smell and intelligence. Whenever we have mashed potatoes and gravy he'll start prancing around after we eat, waiting for the leftovers. He watches while I clean up the kitchen, again prancing about when I pick up the potato pot. It's the only thing he ever begs for.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

We get up early every morning about 5 M. After we eat, DH lets the puppies out of their kennels and they outside then he sits with them and they get their morning loving and such. By this time I am back in bed (yes, after 36 years I still get up and fix his breakfast). He leaves for work about 6:45 and the pups let me sleep unil about
7:30. I can almost bet that they will start whinning within 5 min. of that time. Whether or not they have a concept of time, they have an inner clock that is pretty accurate.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Absolutely. For all the reasons stated above. Mine are better than any alarm clock I've ever owned! Unfortunately, they don't have a concept of THE WEEKEND, so I still get nudged and whined at starting at 6am!

As for how long they've been alone, and worrying about that, I really wouldn't be concerned unless it's a really long time. It's not that they don't 'know' that you've been gone 7 hours vs. 2, it's 'do they care'? I can pretty much say, not. Dogs sleep 12 - 18 hours a day. Sure, they might like it if you were home entertaining them, but if you're not, they just snooooooooooze. At least any dog I've ever owned does!

Below is a Google search on how much dogs sleep. Lots of good info.

Here is a link that might be useful: clicky


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

I've got to say yes. When we lived in Tx we had a shepherd mix. When the school bus was due she'd be at the end of the driveway waiting for DD to get off and have heard of other dogs doing same.
vickie


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

My McNab Skeeter is a watch(like in clock) dog I was feeding the horses of our local vet while he was out of town for two weeks. I fed between 8-9 am and 4-5 pm. On the fifteenth day at 8 while I was having coffee Skeeter came over and said"Time to feed the horses" I ignored her. Every five min she started on me"Time to feed the horses" she kept it up until 9.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Mine don`t, I know this cause they think it`s time to eat all day long !! lol


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Elvis, our chihuahua, absolutely knows time. At around 2 or 3 minutes until 3pm he gets restless and fidgety. He looks at the clock and waits. Our clock plays different tunes for each hour and he knows when that particular song goes off my husband will be pulling into the driveway. He races out the doggie door when the song begins.

He doesn't really understand weekends or holidays though. He just goes nuts at three pm every day.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

I think they do. We had 2 dogs at one time and we discovered one morning that one of them would leave the yard through a very small space in the fence where part of the board had broken off and he would come back a little before my husband would get up. Neighbors called us several times to see if we were missing a dog and I'd always look out and see them both and tell them no, that someone else must have the same breed of dog, which isn't common. One morning my husband got up earlier than normal and discovered him missing. Just as we were getting dressed to go look for him, we heard something and looked out to see him squeezing through that little hole, just a few minutes before my husband would normally get up.
Our current dog goes and waits by the door for my husband about the time he is due home, but he often comes later, so she waits a long time some days.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

My dogs get up at the same time every morning (which lucky for me is an hour or two after I wake up, so I can sleep in some days and not worry!). Our older dog sleeps a lot, so its hard to know if he knows bedtime, cause all he does is sleep in the evening. But the beagle begins to look for a comfy place to lay down between 10-10:30 every night. They know when dad comes home, and if he's late they start getting anxious and every noise they hear the look at the door to see if its him. My beagle also has a specific nap time in the morning and she gets awful cranky if she doesnt get fed before nap time. She'll start misbehaving and not listening and everytime she's given a sit or stay command she'll whine and huff. But if she gets fed and has her nap, she's the best dog ever.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Our PeeWee,now departed, knew that I would be gone for a couple of hours if I left by the garage door. She also knew if I went out the front door I would only be gone for a few minutes.

One day I went out the garage door and as I was driving away realized I had forgotten something. Rather than go in through the garage I went in and then left again by the front door. I thought nothing of this.

My son was home and he said that PeeWee went to the front door and waited...and waited. After about 1/2 hour she began to cry and howl and she could not be consoled. She only stopped crying when I got back home.

We figured it was because she knew more time had elapsed than should have before I returned.

We did this several other times with the same results. If I went out the garage door she was content to wait for hours. A front door exit required me to return within 15 minutes.

So, yes, I think they have a concept of time.

Mona


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

The first time my roommate watched my dog when I was gone for several days, I got back home and she said, "oh, if only you saw how sad she was you would never leave her again!".

So, my dog was in my home, with my roommate who normally lives there, sometimes takes her for walks, sometimes feeds her, etc. The only difference from normality was that I was gone for several days rather than a normal work day. Apparently, she knows the difference. So, yes, at least according to your sil's definition-"If they are left alone for on hour or six, it's all the same to them."- yes, they have a concept of time, and no, it's not all the same to them.

She also knows the difference between going to work at my normal morning going-to-work time (which is acceptable) and leaving the house at any other time, including going to work at unusual times (which is unacceptable and results in pouting).

Now, whether or not their concept of time is anything like ours, or some completely different experience, I have no idea. But they know "something"...


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Most dogs get excited upon your return home after an hour or more and even more excited if you've been gone for a day or two or three. They don't however get excited if you walk out of the house for a minute or two and come back in. So obviously they have some concept of time notwithstanding all the above mentioned examples of how they can "know the right time" for other things.


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RE: Do dogs have a concept of time?

Hey I'm the one who gets all excited. Even if I just go outside to take out the trash I start to miss them. So they obviously have a better concept of time than I do. LOL


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