Have You Ever Wondered How The Memory Of Your Dog Works?
Surely on more than one occasion, you have wondered how their dog’s memory works, why if you give him a cookie at four in the afternoon the next day at four o’clock he goes to ask you for another, but he is unable to remember not to pull the strap.
The memory of dogs is something different from that of humans; they do not use their memory as we humans do but nevertheless, they can use other types of memory such as short term memory, spatial memory or olfactory memory among so many.
Our dogs have an incredible memory; they can remember where they buried a bone even if some years have passed. We will explain how a dog’s memory works and why they can remember some things and not others.
How does our dog’s memory work?
No one knows how their memory works for sure, but there are many scientific studies that have been carried out and depending on the results it is suspected that the memory of dogs works in several ways, they use a memory system different from ours.
Since they are puppies, dogs use a type of memory known as procedural memory, which helps them to learn the things we are teaching them or how to make their needs outside the home.
The procedural memory is strongly engraved in the brain of our dogs, making it used in the future almost unconsciously. A dog will give you the pita to get his prize automatically, without thinking, because his brain already knows that giving the duck will get him food.
This type of memory becomes associative over time so that the dog will quickly learn everything that has to do with food. Associating food to make certain movements is the best way to memorize them.
Short-term memory in dogs
Dogs have long-term memory and can remember the education and training exercises we taught them when they were puppies. But they also have a short-term memory, that is, they can remember what happened a few hours ago.
However their brain does not work like ours, we can relive the moment step by step while they only revive the important part.
Dogs have short-term memory but are very selective; they remember the important, not the unimportant details unlike how we humans do. However, when it comes to feeding or protecting oneself, their short-term memory may expand indefinitely.
Olfactory memory of dogs
Dogs have an olfactory memory that is simply amazing; their brain can associate odors with different sites and even different situations. We must not forget that the nose of a dog is more than a thousand times better than that of a human; its olfactory capacity is unsurpassed.
The brain of a dog makes and memorizes an olfactory map of everything, his house, the park where he goes for walks and even the areas he visits for the first time and may not visit again in years.
Humans can see with our eyes and create a mental map of our environment to interact with it; dogs in addition to the visual mental map also use an olfactory mental map, which able them to indicate a lot of details without using their eyesight.
Has it ever happened to you that your dog knows someone new and growls or the person not allowed to touch him? It is because that person possibly emits an odor that indicates to the dog something negative, that activates the associative memory of the dog and identifies the person with something bad.
The distinctive memory in dogs
If at home you are among the several people who give their dog a treat, they can remember the details of each one. Dogs have a kind of distinctive memory that allows them to interact differently with each person.
As an example, if you take your dog for a walk he may be allowed to play, smell everything, and bite the leash or pull. However if your sister also takes the dog for a walk and she has always prohibited him from pulling on the leash or biting her, with her, he will not.
They can learn the different customs of each human and adapt to them, something impressive. A dog’s memory is designed to survive, so finding food or avoiding dangers is always the best thing to keep in any of its variables.
Remember that a dog can memorize all his life that you once beat him, so you should never mistreat a dog because it will cost you a lot. Always use positive reinforcement to educate your dog, and he will always have good memories of you.