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Can Dogs Tell The Time?


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Can Dogs Tell The Time?It is thought that a dog's understanding of time is not so much chronological as it is based on a biological rhythm.

Dogs seem to know when their owner is returning from work or when the children come home from school. They know when their owner is getting up or going to bed or when it is time for them to go for a walk or be fed.

Many of us would like to believe that the dog actually does know the time by looking at the clock but of course this is just not true.

Dogs have excellent memory association. Humans are creatures of habit and we are generally extremely predictable in so far as we do certain actions at certain times of the day. We have routines almost without being aware that we perform certain actions at certain times of the day.

Your dog associates the sound of your alarm clock in the morning with you coming downstairs. Your dog may also associate you picking up the car keys to your going out of the house and the dog being left on its own. You may think that your dog is lying in his bed dozing but in fact he is building up a wealth of memory association by watching his human family in every detail.

All animals have a biological “clock” deep within the brain and this includes your dog. Cells deep within the dog’s brain produce enzymes which are subsequently broken down over a 24 hour period. Humans also possess the same biological “clock” which makes our bodies work differently during daylight hours than at night. It is this clock that tells the dog when it is time to wake up or to settle down to sleep for the night. However dogs “clocks” are very flexible which is why even when in a deep sleep they will jump up ready to go as soon as you rattle their lead. Rattle that same lead in the middle of the night and although the dog may respond its movements will be a lot slower.

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Dogs certainly cannot look at their wristwatch to know when it is dinner time but you can be sure that they will be ready waiting as soon as you pick up their food bowl!

Of course much of the signals which lead us to believe that a dog can tell what time it is are simply just sounds or smells. Your dog may hear you turn in your bed even though you think this is near impossible. The dog is very in tune and its senses are immensely sharp, so the slightest sound taking place at the same time each day will very quickly teach a dog that a certain sound or smell means something is about to happen, giving some owners the impression that their dog knows what 'time' it is, but this just isn't true.

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