How do dogs perceive time?

Dogs' Time Perception: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Many dogs instinctively know when their owner usually comes home from work every day, or what time they can expect their regular meals. But this doesn't mean that dogs perceive time the same way humans do.
  • Humans remember events (and even sequences of events) in the past and can plan for events in the future, but animals don't seem to have similar abilities.
  • Researcher William Roberts indicates that dogs can be trained to do a specific task without remembering the specific event in which they were trained, the same way young children can learn things without forming lasting memories of the actual learning process.
  • Instead of understanding the passage of time, Roberts argues that dogs instead rely on internal biological indicators to remember what time regular, daily events happen.
  • Studies indicate that even primates and hoarders don't understand the idea of planning for the future in the same sophisticated way humans do.

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