Did you ever imagine why your dog seems to have forgotten you mistakenly stepping on his tail just after 2 minutes? The answer to this question is related to science more than their forgiving, beautiful natures. It is because our Dog’s short-term memory is very short indeed!
By the study of the memories different animals, researchers have found some interesting results. Firstly chimpanzees were tested and their short-term memory lasted only for twenty seconds. But our fellow canine companions were much better at reminding things so they were placed at higher memory scale spectrum.
But hold your horses, though. Their short-term memory lasted no further than two minutes.
You might be thinking, what does that mean? This certainly explains why our dog gets too excited when he sees us arriving home after work. Dogs do not have any idea about how long we have been gone! However, this does not explain how our dogs are able to know that we are going for a walk after he sees us putting our joggers on and picking up their lead.
Do our dogs share the same memory as ours? Nope. The difference is in our ability to recall random events taken place after a long period of time. Dogs do not have an episodic memory which would allow them to retain memories of events happened long ago like ours, regardless of how much less in the importance the memory might have been. What our dog has is called associative memory which is basically a memory designed for survival.
They are able to recall the memories of recurring events like the places they often go to like a park or dog school and people they interact with like the owner or a house member who feeds them dinner each night. So as time goes by, they are able to relate or associate you arriving at home after work with dinner time.
Do not break out into tears that having such a good relationship with your dog was nothing more than a lie. Most dog owners will relieve you with the fact that their relationship with their dog is a lot more than a source of food or at least that we would admire to think of! Your dog may not be able to recall that it was you who tucked him under the cover of bed at night when he was feeling cold, but the good news is that your dog will associate or relate you on a macro level with feeling safe and sound in your company.
It is really another good reason for why being a dog must be a great joy or perfect happiness. They do not remember the things of less importance the way we remember them. We grief on things for years to come, while our dogs get over it just in two minutes! This means that there is no need to feel bad or guilty for not sharing the last bite of dinner with your doggy… as it is very unlikely for him to recall it.