Dogs and their Really Short, Short-Term Memories

Dogs and their Really Short, Short-Term Memories

Many people, including some dog owners, wrongly assume that their puppy isn’t capable of retaining memories for long. In fact, dogs and cats both have good long-term memory, the issues lies with their short-term memory.

Unlike cats, who can remember things for up to 16 hours, dogs only have a short-term memory of a few minutes (2-5 minutes). This may be why you have to purchase pet toys for your cat all the time and your dog is content with the same toy for a long time. If you are a cat owner, then you can look at our extensive cat accessories collection.

Forgiving or Forgetful

You know how your dog gets angry at you for stepping on its tail, and within the next few minutes, all is forgiven. This isn’t because they’re very forgiving in nature, but simply that they forget it ever happened.

Long-term Memory

Dogs do have very good long-term memories; this is proven by the fact that they can remember commands and hand gestures. Also evidence of this fact are the many stories that involve dogs finding their way back home when they get lost or are relocated.

Short-term Memory

Any dog owner can attest to this. When you leave the room for a while and come back in, your dog will welcome you as excitedly as you have come home after a long period of time. This is because they don’t have enough of a short-term memory span to remember when exactly you left the room. This is evidence of your dog’s very short, short-term memory.

Trivial Memory

Dogs only remember the information that their survival depends on, forgetting the rest. Their brains have no space of trivial memories, a quality that human beings envy. They can forget about something in a matter minutes and move onto their happy life.

Associative Memory

You may be wondering how dogs survive with such a short memory span, the reason is that they have excellent associative memory. They remember things that are repeated often, like a regular park visit, their feeding times, gestures, and voice commands. Associative memory is also the reason behind why dog’s can forge such loyal relationship with their owners. They will remember you as the food provider and caretaker, and think of you as a member of their pack.

We hope that this discussion about long and short-term memories was helpful. If you need to purchase any type of dog accessories, then please look through our Dog Shop for the products you want.