How do dogs perceive time?

How do dogs perceive time?: Author's Note

Dogs have remarkable abilities, but as their loving owners, we tend to inflate their skills and project human characteristics onto our canine friends. As I delved into the topic of a dog's perception of time, it gradually became clear that this particular phenomenon was at work. When we see our dogs predict dinnertime accurately, without the aid of a clock, we might assume that their perception of time is even superior to our own. And though it might be true that dogs are more in tune with their circadian oscillators, evidence indicates that their understanding of time is not nearly as complex as ours. In my research for this article, I was lucky to come across William Roberts' article, in which he interpreted several studies on the topic of animal time perception. I was most struck by the research on primates and hoarders, neither of which prepared for future events very well. So, it seems that while an animal's natural instinct might be remarkably sophisticated, it arguably pales in comparison to the advantages of human understanding.


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