Do you still remember what life was like without your four-legged friend? One thing we know for sure, he wasn't so cheerful and filled with furry love. But what about your dog? Does he remember life without you? Does he remember the previous owner, life in the shelter, or maybe trips together? Science still has a lot to explore in animal heads, and memory is one of the least explored areas. What do we know about dog memories now?
DO DOGS HAVE MEMORIES?
It is proven that dogs have memories , but other specifics are not yet known, including the extent to which dogs remember things. If you're wondering how it is, you'll be pleased to hear that there's research going on about canine memories. At the Duke Canine Cognition Center at Duke University, researchers address questions such as: How do dogs use their prior experience to remember different situations? Or for example: Can all dogs remember? And also for example: Are there differences between specific races? Each of these questions could lead to surprising discoveries.
THE MAGIC OF ASSOCIATIVE AND EPISODIC MEMORY
Most commonly, dogs use associative memory . It is the way the brain creates a relationship between two things . If you have a cat, you've probably struggled with it when putting it in a crate. It is associated with a visit to the vet, which is certainly not a popular trip. Similarly, a dog has a leash associated with a walk, so when you take it in your hand, the furry one is waiting ready at the door that morning.
Episodic memory is the memory of something that happened to you personally, so it is associated with a certain time and space . Until recently, it was thought that only humans and a few animals had such memories. Some research suggested that dogs have this ability, until a groundbreaking study in Current Biology came up with proof.
A team from Hungary found that dogs can remember what their master just did, even if they were not specifically instructed to do so. For the research, they used 17 different breeds that were trained to copy the movements of their owners. The dogs were tested for their ability to recall specific situations one minute and one hour after the exercise. It was found that in both cases, the furries remembered what the master had done, meaning they remembered a specific moment from the past .
DO DOGS REMEMBER THEIR PREVIOUS OWNERS?
These researches support the idea that adopted dogs can remember their previous owners. For example, those who have lived in unfavorable conditions may associate negative emotions with certain objects, places or people . We also definitely know that dogs miss their owners when they leave them for a while. And most of all, when they only go to the front of the house to take out the basket.
So there is still more to research on dog memory and memories, let's see what the new research will bring. But without research, we know for sure that if you hide the treats in a drawer, even in a week the dog will remember exactly where it was.