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Can my dog tell time?

Dog with leash in his mouth

Ever wondered how your dog seems to know when you are coming home, going to bed, waking up, or making dinner?  Read on. This is fascinating!

Often people say, “Oh dogs can’t tell time. They have no concept of time.” Well that just is not true. Your dog can tell time and in many instances your dog knows how to keep to a schedule better than you do!  

Dogs waiting at door

Remember that like young children, dogs are dependent upon you to set the basic ground rules and to keep the schedule. It does not take long before your dog is used to the time you get up, where you go and when you come back. Ask any dog owner what time their dog gets up on the weekend. The answer is simple! They get up the same time you do every day that you go to work or to school. They learn your schedule.

Dog waiting to be fed

Skip a meal and you will soon realize that time is very important to your dog! Your dog can tell time! They know when it’s time to eat, drink, and go for a walk or sleep. They learn the schedule that you set-up for them and they like sticking to it. Dogs tell time very well and they often keep to the schedule better than their human counterparts.

Sudden changes to the time schedule often cause anxiety and leave your dog scared and wondering where you are and why you are not there taking care of them. This can lead to stress both for you and your pup. When dogs get bored they often get into trouble. As time passes and you fail to show up for the appointed time for a walk, food or play, they seek to occupy themselves. Knowing right from wrong comes with age.  They learn this from your reaction. Remember the old saying, ”You get more flies with honey than with vinegar,” surely applies here. Dogs respond very well to positive reinforcement. Praise them when they do something right. In fact go over the top. Remember to smile, speak kindly and lavish praise whole-heartedly.

Family with their dog

When something goes wrong, don’t just blame your pup. Think about your schedule. Discover where you have gone wrong and always remember to speak kindly, instead of screaming “No!” Say “No.” This is not nice. Use simple commands, “No Chew, No Bite, No Jump, etc.” Very quickly they learn from you and your reaction what is acceptable and what is not. Time plays an important part in keeping your dog happy and satisfied.

Sleepy dog under a blanket

While dogs don’t tell time in the conventional sense, dogs are very in tune with timing and the scheduling of time. They know when it is time to sleep, wake, eat, walk and play. They pick up on cues in the environment and are very attune at reading your habits. For instance, brush your teeth and watch your dog wait to go out before bed, he/she grab a drink and is ready to head to bed with you. Try staying up late one night and watch how restless they get when they know it’s past your normal bed time! Your dog can tell time!

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