Can Dogs Tell Time?
Your adorable pup knows when he will eat. He knows when you will leave and return home. He even knows when you will take him for a walk.
As a curious and loving pet owner, you may wonder, can dogs tell time, in the same way, we as humans do it? After all, it seems like it, right?
Obviously, you won’t see any dogs walking around with a watch attached to their legs. They can’t look at the clock and immediately know what time it is. So, if they can tell time, how do they do it?
Discussion is still ongoing and researchers are still in the process of seeing if dogs can really tell time. However, there are available data that might give us clues.
In this post, read about the possible ways that dogs tell time.
Researchers say a dog may tell time due to its circadian rhythm. Humans have circadian rhythm too and so are cats, roosters, cows, and other animals.
Circadian rhythm is how your pooch’s body reacts to physical, mental and behavioral changes that regulate a daily routine responding to environmental signals like light and dark. However, temperature, social cues, and a superior sense of smell could also work together with the body clock of your dog to tell time.
Because of the Circadian rhythm, it seems that dogs can determine the time. Their body has already established a routine that tells them when to go to sleep, wake up, and eat.
Sense Of Smell
There’s no denying that dogs have the most effective sense of smell. With 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs are able to smell a wide range of odors and even detect the faintest ones.
Because of their keen sense of smell, they can use it to predict events in the future.
Here’s an example. Your scent is the strongest before you leave your house. Your dog can smell you and the stronger the smell, the more likely that you are near.
As you leave your home, your scent is left behind. Your dog can predict when you will be back based on how strong the scent you left. So, the weaker the scent, the more time has passed away.
For your pup, it serves as a marker when you will be back.
If you have a fairly regular schedule, it is possible that your pooch has figured out that at the moment you pick up your keys, unlock the front door and go to work, your smell decreases as time passes by. He might even try to determine if you’re approaching home as your scent gets stronger again.
Your cute pup sure knows when he is hungry. Depending on how much you feed your dog, there comes a time when his stomach will tell him that he needs to eat again.
This signal from the stomach serves as a marker of when he last ate and when the next meal will be.
Interestingly, your dog’s behavior is governed by habits and repetitions. He may be the alarm that wakes you up at 6:00 AM or the sleepy pup who encourages you to sleep at 10:00 PM. Habits may not be the logical reason, but those may enable neurons to “tell time” for your pooch.
Dogs can be trained to foresee future events based on past experiences. They know your routines, better than you do. If they see that you are late getting up every weekend, they could tell that they won’t be going for a walk on that day. If they see that you are getting up early during weekdays, then they anticipate that on that day, they would go for a walk.
Repetition and routines – those can help your dog to tell time.
So can dogs tell time? Maybe, we really don’t know. There are some interesting ideas out there about how they may do it if they can. While research is being done on this topic, no final proof exists that a dog can tell time.
However, one thing is certain; they depend on their episodic memories. They repeat and expect all the work they do to their human. So, continue loving your pup, and make every moment a timeless memory.