Do dogs have memory?
How many times have we not looked at our dog and wondered what he was thinking ? If you remember the attitude you corrected the other day? Or, what could be happening inside that little head that can not vocalize its feelings and emotions? The truth is that we are not sure if dogs count on the ability of humans to travel mentally in time and space, through the powerful and magical “memory.”
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Do you have a dog and want to know more about its psychological nature? Can you remember the moments, experiences and experiences you share with you and then put them in your mental safe? Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article and find out if the dogs have memory or not .
The memory of the dog
We know that our dog remembers us , because whenever we come home after a long day of work, or when we go to pick it up after a trip, it welcomes us with affection and emotion, as if expressing joy of coming back to see But what about other things, people, or moments of your own life? For what happens is that your dog tends to forget. Yes, your dog may not remember that walk along the beach that you gave him as one of the best moments of relaxation and certainly not remember to have eaten the delicious food that prepared him yesterday.
Of course our furry companions remember, so we can say that dogs have memories, but their mechanism is different from humans. Dogs can remember some things, while others come and go quickly inside their head. According to studies, dogs, unlike humans, do not have a type of memory known as the “episodic memory”, which is responsible for absorbing, retaining and seal episodes on our hard drive and give us that sensation of such an important experience.
Our canine friends have the type of associative memory that, as its name implies, allows them to associate certain things and convert them into a kind of memory. Basically, dogs are 100% coded animals based on habits and repetition. For example, your dog could survive a fall from the porch of the house, but soon after he will not want to approach this place or he will be afraid to do so. He will not do it because he remembers the fatal episode, but because he associated the place with pain and fear. The same goes for the leash and guide that you use to take you for a walk. Your dog is thrilled every time he takes you for a walk, this is because he associates this object with the moment he leaves the house. The good thing is that with love and training all associations can be changed, especially the negative ones.
The dogs live the moment
Experts say that dogs work better with a kind of short-term memory than with long-term memory. The memory of the present serves to develop an action, reaction or immediate behavior, which does not necessarily represent information that must be stored for a long period of time. However, like any other animal, all the knowledge that may later be needed to survive can be recorded.
Therefore, it is important that if you reprimand or teach your dog something, do it within 10 or 20 seconds after you have done something wrong. Otherwise, if it’s been 10 minutes or 3 hours, it’s possible the dog will not remember and do not understand why he’s reprimanding him, so it will be a losing battle. In this sense, rather than reprimand the bad behaviors, in the YourCatCareguide we advise to reward the good ones, because they are easier to identify in the moment to do them. In this way, and since dogs have associative memory, your dog will relate this good act to something positive (a treat, caresses, etc.) and you are very likely to learn what is good or not. To know how to carry out this type of training, do not miss our article in which we talk about thepositive reinforcement in dogs .
So, do dogs have memory or not?
Yes, as we mentioned in the previous points, dogs have short-term memory but, they work mainly with associative memory. They learn the rules of coexistence and basic orders of training by associating them with words and gestures, and are able to remember our body odor and voice sound. In this way, although they may remember people, other animals, objects or actions through associations, dogs do not have long-term memory. As we said, they do not retain past moments or experiences, but rather what they felt to associate a particular place with something that they consider positive or negative.