Do Dogs Understand Time? – So, it breaks your heart to leave your dog alone for so long time. It will only be 8 hours to you but perhaps it feels like an eternity to your dog. But then you are gone for 10 minutes and your dog receives you so excitedly that it feels like you were gone for 10 days! So, you wonder, do dogs understand time?
Some dog owners also tend to believe that their dogs know when it is time for lunch, for a scratch, for the nap, etc. Let’s take look at what experts say, Do dogs understand time the way we do?
A sense of time
According to experts, it has always been a common knowledge that every animal species studied seems to have a sense of time. In fact, many species know what is the time to go to a particular place at a particular time to find food.
For instance, a species of predator knows the time at which prey will be available. Investigators have observed that this predator return at the exact same time the next day.
Now, with domestic animals, it has also been observed that they can track time, meaning that they can also distinguish between time intervals. It was proved by dogs specifically that dog tails wagged upon the return of their owners with an intensity related to the time their owners were away.
So, do dogs understand time?
So, technically, your dog knows when you stay out longer than usual. To understand this, we need to go to the dog’s brain. Just like humans, dogs have a pineal gland. This gland produces the hormone melatonin, which affects how dogs perceive time.
This is how circadian rhythms work. It helps control a dog’s internal clock, helping him know when to sleep and when to wake up.
Now, dogs do not know how to read a clock but their circadian rhythms help them associate certain parts of the day with certain activities. As you can also see, dogs also respond to different time spans, making them more excited about your return the longer you are away.
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