Dogs do have a knack for remembering things. They remember the location their food bowls, how to perform tricks or find their way home after being lost. This does mean they can remember specific events or moments unless it is associated with something such as treat and praise or how useful those memories are to them.
Montell Udell, an assistant professor of animal and rangeland science at Oregon State University said that about 75% of world’s dogs don’t live in human homes.”A memory that helps dogs excel at scavenging helps them to survive on street,” she said.
For instance: understanding basic displacement tasks — knowing that something is still there, even if it's not visible — can help scavengers.
Udell said that "If someone walks by a trash can and throws away a hamburger, you might not see it anymore, but dogs can remember that there was a hamburger, and they can look for it at the last place they saw."
Dogs memory span depends on context and also the salience and importance of things that were coded.
Another study published in the journal Current Biology found that a dog's memory may be better and more complex than we thought. Researchers trained 17 dogs to imitate human actions with the "Do as I Do method".The dogs were taught to lie down after watching a human perform the same thing. After learning the action, they were given a “do it” command without warning. Researchers found that dogs were able to imitate human actions even if they were not expected to remember and repeat it.
On further experimentation, after the laydown task, the human completed an extra action, such as touching an umbrella, while giving an unfamiliar command. Then, the human took the dogs behind a screen, and waited anywhere from 1 minute to 1 hour before asking them to "do it." Some dogs were able to remember and imitate at both time points, however the researchers found most dogs' performances declined with time between seeing the action and being asked to do it”.
This shows that dogs share similar abilities to a human when it comes to recalling episodic-like memory but not to the same extent. Episodic-like memory is a collection of personal events and specific episodes occurred in one’s life at a particular time and place. Such memories are thought to be linked to self-awareness and tied to "what-when-and-where" of unique past episodes. It allows us to remember almost any occurrence, however trivial for long period.
Exact evidence that dogs or any animals have some form of episodic-like memory is difficult to obtain because we can't ask them questions about what's going on inside their head. All we can do is observe their behavior and try to interpret what is going on internally. Besides, something that the study did not mention was the breed of dog used in the experiment. Like humans, not all dog breeds have equal intelligence scale.
Some dogs are smarter on learning commands and tricks than others.
If you want your dog to remember new commands, tricks or discipline him, here’s a list of ways shared by Toby’s Bone in which you can do so:
Their Name: Repeat the name frequently while talking to them or addressing them. For a new puppy, try to avoid using any nicknames you may have for the dog until they remember their real name.
Teaching Commands or Tricks: Clearly vocalize the command you want the dog to learn while also aiding them with the associated action until they start doing the action by command alone.
Discipline For Bad Behavior: Try to do so in a timely manner from the incident. Waiting too long will cause the dog to forget what they did wrong, and can cause undue stress to the animal.
Smell Things: A dog remembers things more clearly from a scent and associating smells with certain objects or people can help them to remember them more clearly.
Learn on Their Own: Dog's are more observant than you may think, and can often remember certain actions, such as when it's time to eat or go to bed, just by repetition.
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