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Posted: 9/19/2009 7:40:10 PM EST
I have 2 beagles. They are very loyal, smart dogs. They both know basic commands and tricks. They even know my wife's and my name as well as the names of specific toys. So, I think they are of at least average intelligence for a canine.

The question comes from the way they greet us upon arriving home. I can be gone for 5 minutes, just a run to the gas station and when I come home they act like they haven't seen me in weeks. The same reaction I get after picking them up after a vacation. It is the same whether my wife and I go somewhere together or one of us stays home with them.

So the question is, do dogs have any concept of time? Can they understand I have been gone only 5 minutes vs. 5 days?

Just Curious what the hive mind thinks.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:41:21 PM EST
supposedly no, but I haven't discussed the subject w/ my 4 hounds
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:41:22 PM EST
When I was younger, it always seemed like the dogs knew when my parents were on their way home when they'd been gone all day.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:41:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:42:15 PM EST by AcidGambit]
They seem to know when it's time for you to come home. I think they get into a rhythm more than knowing time.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:43:30 PM EST
I don't think they really think about it. I just think their "body clock" lets them know when certain things are going to happen.

Kinda like how I sometimes wake up at 5:30-ish anyway, even though it's my day off.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:45:35 PM EST
Not really, but they have a surprisingly good memory. My dog will remember the spot she chased a cat away from for a good while .
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:48:16 PM EST
My Golden Retriever always got pissed off at 5:30am if he was not given his food.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:49:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:51:03 PM EST by JBlitzen]
They can definitely hear your vehicle while you're still a minute or two from home, and they can associate events with each other, and thus with a time of day. i.e., food happens in the morning when you wake up.

Beyond that, I have no idea. It's an interesting question.

A similar one is self-awareness. I read somewhere that dogs pass, and cats fail, a mirror test, where a mark is placed on their face somewhere, and they're observed to see if they figure out that the mark on the dog or cat in the mirror is actually on them, and try to clean it.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:50:06 PM EST
My dogs always wake up at approx. the same time in the morning, and always start acting different right at about 5:30pm which is dinner time. They seem to have a sense for feeding times, otherwise no, they have no clue i don't think.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:51:27 PM EST
+1 to dogs having very reliable internal clocks.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:52:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:53:45 PM EST by Dystopia]
Dogs act that way to other dogs when they rejoin the pack it doesn’t matter how long you are separated.

All animals have the perception of time. Otherwise they would be splattered by cars more often. A dog knows what time you get up in the morning and knows when to wait at the door for you to come home after work.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:52:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:55:24 PM EST by simplemitch]
Actually, and I shit you not, a research study was done on dogs and their "senses". It was found that the dogs in the study would begin acting in anticipation of the masters arrival almost IMMEDIATELY upon them beginning their journey home, regardless of what time it was. The focus of the study was later tied to an attempt to understand animals abilities to semmingly be able to predict earthquakes, and this was one of the interesting things they found. I'd cite the study, but I can't recall what university it was.



ETA: this may be it:

http://www.opensourcescience.net/index.php?title=Experiments:_Can_Dogs_Anticipate_Their_Owner's_Return%3F
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:52:42 PM EST
Only if it's a watch dog.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:52:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By omega62:
+1 to dogs having very reliable internal clocks.

Yep, my dog is on a very tight schedule, and if we deviate from it, she will let us know.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:53:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 7:54:41 PM EST by kaos]
Yes.

The 14 seconds that there's food in the bowl.

The 23 hours:59 minutes: 40 seconds the bowl is empty.

The 6 seconds before they take a dump on the Persian carpet.

DAMHIKT (Don't Ask Me How I Know This)
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:57:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By out-a-ammo:
Only if it's a watch dog.



ZING!
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:58:37 PM EST
They know the difference between nighttime and daytime and they know about when their feeding time is.
I am sure they have no idea how many days or years have passed since they were born and don't care.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:59:51 PM EST
I think they do in respect to their everyday life activities, but in regards to their life existence I would probably have to say no.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:03:30 PM EST
Humans are the only animal stupid enough to torture ourselves by recognising time as the supreme ruler of our daily lives , or to allow others to tell us what we are going to do with it.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:05:24 PM EST
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:06:52 PM EST
Not in that respect they don't, that's why it's important not to scold them if they do something bad, after it's done. If you do then they will think you're upset because of the place they did the bad thing, not the fact they did a bad thing, then they will do the bad thing in another place. Say they tear your shoe apart, you scold them when you get home, they think you're upset because of where the remnants of the shoe is, not that they tore your shoe up, so they tear up the next shoe in another place. There is a lot of info about this regarding training your dog.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:07:02 PM EST
I think they do, especially the more intelligent breeds. My GSD would always be happy to see me when I got home, but after three days or more he would just go absolutely NUTS. So yeah, I think he has at least some concept.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:09:25 PM EST
Yep my parents dogs know they go for a walk right around 10pm. They will be in my dads room staring a hole in him at about 9:45 if he hasn't done it yet.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:13:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg
His ears are divining the water in the Frisbee?

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:14:57 PM EST
Oh yeah, anyone who feeds one will tell you so.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:17:17 PM EST
My dog definitely reacts differently to normal time of me gone vs abnormal even if it's a few hours.So they can tell time in that sense. Your dogs probably just have separation anxiety
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:19:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg


Love GSDs I have 2 great lookin PUP
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:20:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By out-a-ammo:
Only if it's a watch dog.



Link Posted: 9/19/2009 8:21:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By kaos:

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg
His ears are divining the water in the Frisbee?










They go up and down .

Last few days they have been up but it's normal when they start teething that sometimes they will flop.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:09:22 PM EST
I just read a science article that said dogs only have a sense os seasonal changes-no real concept of even night and day. I however, don't buy it. my dog has a pretty good concept, considering she wakes me up at 830 every morning.
then there was the story of that dog who used to go meet his master at the train station every day on his return from work.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:12:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg


Make that your BEST-EST new buddy. I love GSD's.


Back to the original post. Time.....no concept except an internal circadian rthym.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:13:56 PM EST
I believe they do. Mine gets all riled up around 10-11pm every night, she knows this is the time that she usually gets her walk.

She also knows when I have been gone a long time vs a quick run to the store.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:23:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Originally Posted By kaos:

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg
His ears are divining the water in the Frisbee?







They go up and down .

Last few days they have been up but it's normal when they start teething that sometimes they will flop.

Puppy ears...

Big ears... Small body... We all know where this is going...

(Nice dog)
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:30:26 PM EST
We feed our dogs at 6pm every day.... They always know what time dinner is......

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:31:18 PM EST
mine is always more excited to see me if i've been gone awhile. if i'm only gone a little awhile, less so. so i vote yes.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:37:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By glock21guy:
mine is always more excited to see me if i've been gone awhile. if i'm only gone a little awhile, less so. so i vote yes.

yeah just normal get home daily I might get noticed might not
be gone a few days to a week they go apeshit when I get back
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:44:49 PM EST
My mother had a dog that lived to be 14. She was a Maltese. She HATED the mailman, classic. Well she could hear the mailtruck coming and would raise hell, then she got old. I would see the mail truck coming around the corner and I guess she didn't hear it, BUT she knew the mailman was coming and would want to be let outside within 45 minutes of the mailman showing up. She was pretty much blind and deaf but knew what time the mailman was coming, or close enough.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:48:11 PM EST
One of the psychologies I remember reading years ago, was that dogs might believe you are never coming back when you leave.

Hence the reason they are quite elated when you show back up at home again.

I really hope that's not what they think though.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:49:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By omega62:
+1 to dogs having very reliable internal clocks.


yup
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:56:47 PM EST
Yes, but they have hard time reading a clock.


Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:00:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Don't know but this is my new buddy.



http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad58/jimmykm21/dog013.jpg


Awwwww.......

Who's the good doggie? Who's the good doggie?.......



I love dogs.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:06:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 10:09:43 PM EST by zuuk]
I voted yes, because my dog wants "treats" at nearly the same time everyday - approx 8 pm. He sits sits in front of us, stares, and lickes his chops. basically begging for those snacks.

He eats dinner just after we do, as I dice & feed him some of the left-over meat from the meal.


eta: he doesn't always get them, but he sure asks for them about the same time everyday
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:13:24 PM EST
Mine doesn't have a good sense of time. She is always looking at her Rolex and muttering about WTF is up with my Steak Tartar? I ordered it, then licked my ass, ran around the yard, barked at a squirrel, licked my ass, dug a hole, licked my ass, and it still hasn't arrived.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:21:49 PM EST
Mine clearly doesn't care. She is as lazy as I am.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:31:14 PM EST
I've known dogs that clearly knew if their owner was overdue to get home from work. They'd wait by the door and whine.

They have an internal clock just like us. They may not view time the same was as we do, but they know if something hasn't happened when it normally does, and they like routine. Supposedly, feeding and walking dogs at the same time every day does wonders for their behavior and health.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:43:12 PM EST
I believe dogs do have some sort of internal clock. They definitely dont see time as we do... but I believe they have value it in some way.




^ My little guy does :)
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:49:25 PM EST
hell yes they do. Time to eat, time to sleep, time to dig shit up, time to eat again, time for bed.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:54:02 PM EST
My dog knows when it's 5pm (time to eat).
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:23:11 AM EST
Now.

That's all they know about time.

Just right now.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:57:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:58:50 AM EST
5 minutes vs. 5 days? Sure. They'll miss you more after 5 days of absence than they will 5 minutes. So in that regard, maybe they have a concept of time.


But if you try telling them to come back in 15 minutes? That's not going to work.
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