ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can dogs remember?

Updated on June 29, 2010

Dogs have always been considered as intelligent animals. Numerous studies conducted on canine behavior have disclosed that dogs have almost human-like qualities when it comes to solving complex problems. Naturally, the intelligence of dogs differs from one individual to another. Canine intelligence though is noted to be at par with the intelligence of a two-year old human. Because kids at this age can remember, it was concluded that dogs are gifted with memory as well. A dog’s memory may not be as complex as what we humans have but it was confirmed that canines posses rudimentary memories that allows them to adapt to training very well. Studies and experiments have shown that dogs have the ability to remember.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The dogs intelligence and memory

Dogs may not have the ability to think the way we humans do. A dog lover though will certainly be miffed if the pet is referred to as “just a dog” as these four legged friends have cognitive abilities. A dog’s basic reasoning ability enables them to perform logical actions. Memory is a vital element of intelligence. Dogs may have a fair visual memory but their memories for scent and sounds are exceptional. A dog would require deep concentration to remember situations or events but it will instantly recognize the voice of a master that has not been heard for a long time. The dog’s extraordinary memory for scent is a valuable asset in search and rescue operations.

Working memories

A dog’s memory is associative in nature if it is triggered by an exterior stimulus. An owner donning jogging attire will excite the dog as it is a signal that it will be taken by the master to run. In this case the jogging clothes will be associated by the dog to a pleasant experience. A pet that is left at home all day will stand at attention at the opening of the door at it will be associated to having company or to having the doggie bowl filled. Associative memory also known as working memory is short lasting. In housebreaking, the dog has to be scolded seconds after it has made an accident inside the house for the reprimand to sink in and to be associated with the undesirable act. Reprimanding the dog minutes after it has pooped would not deliver the desired effect.

Reference memory

Reference memory or real memory is stored knowledge. This knowledge can be retrieved and used by the dog at a much later time. Reference memory is best exemplified by the dog’s learned ability to perform acts that are not in its nature. A dog trained to do its business outdoors would scratch the door or pester the owner when it is time to go. The stored knowledge makes the dog remember the angry face of the master when it has soiled the carpet.

Memory span

Dog’s memory span varies. Real memories have extremely short span. A dog that was shooed away from the dining table will not try to filch the steak mindful of the master angry voice. Dogs though will also remember sights, sounds and scents it was exposed to especially if they have made a profound effect on the dog. A puppy that nearly drowned would fear the sight of water even if it has matured.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)