My Dog Can Tell Time; Can Yours?
Thanks Ecodogs for the photo
Ugh! It is daylight savings time and it’s time to “fall back” so that means for one night, I get an extra hour of sleep.
Not everyone turns the time back, but here in VA we turn the time back an hour late in fall (usually October or November) and forward in the Spring.
The idea is to be able to utilize more “daylight hours”, so as the day gets a little shorter in the winter we roll our clocks back. It is a little unpleasant when it gets dark at 5 pm, but it does make it a little easier to get up at 6 when the sun is coming up.
I am always lulled into a false sense of security thinking I will get an extra hour of sleep; when the truth is that my dog knows how to tell time.
It didn’t matter that the clock said 6 a.m. my dogs woke me up to tell me it was 7 and it was their normal time to go outside…
No Rest For The Wicked
No rest for the wicked or so I hear, but those of us with animals know that they KNOW how to tell time.
Basic time is one thing, let’s face it my body clock goes off too and I get hungry at about the same time each day that is pretty normal but can your dog tell the difference between week days and weekends?
I let my dogs out at 4:30 every morning, the same time my husband’s alarm goes off for work. And, they may wake up about 10 to 15 minutes early but let me tell you they won’t let him forget to go to work. If for whatever reason he has forgotten to set his alarm, their clocks will go off and they will wake us up.
They know when his alarm goes off, they know when I get up, they know when it is time for breakfast and they would never let a meal slip by without a little begging about 30 minutes before time.
Heck they even know when my husband is due home from work (which is really irritating if he is working late) they start barking at all noises at 3:30 in the hopes that it is him.
I am amazed at their accuracy.
They even know when it is Saturday and Sunday because instead of getting up at 4:30 they get up at about 7 with their dad.
When I Was a Vet Tech
When I was a vet tech and I worked in the Denver area I was lucky enough to have a boss that realized how fun it was to be able to bring your dog to work. We each had a “day” we could bring our dogs to work.
My day was Thursday. I can tell you that there was nothing else special about Thursdays, I wore the same clothes, the same shoes, I didn’t have a “baby bag” or a “dog bag” that I took to work. Nothing was different, but my dogs knew.
They would race me to the door with wagging tails knowing it was “Thursday” which was their day! They absolutely LOVED work days!
So why is it that your dog has such a great internal clock?
I’m not exactly sure, and until a lot more time and money is spent on research we probably never will.
I think there are still many things about dogs and what they are capable of that we don’t know and simply don’t understand.
Some people say they are somehow so keyed into our behaviors that it is just something they learn.
I can understand that… we probably go to sleep a little later or Friday and Saturday, keying them into the fact that my husband is not working the next day.
Some say our brains and emotions can speak to them on a different level, one that we as humans are not in tune with regularly.
For example some people have reported that their dogs know fluxuating schedules that the owner may not even know; video camera have caught the reaction of dogs the exact moment their owners leave work.
I suppose that dogs have to be more meticulous about paying attention; after all their survival depends on it.
We make our dogs learn our behaviors (like smiling isn’t actual aggression from a person) so it stands to reason that they pay more attention to us and our rituals and when they happen as in difference to us paying attention to them.
Their survival depends on making and keeping us happy, the more often they give us what we want and need, the less likely we are to abandon them or punish them.
Also their instinctual genetics revolve around a clock.
Wild dogs must hunt at the same times each day (think hunting deer) there are certain times that prey animals are more active.
And, the physiology of their bodies must tell them when they are hungry (most dogs are always hungry to ensure survival) in order for them to be good predators.
What do you think?
Does your dog have the ability to tell time?
Does he seem to be hardwired to your brain and your emotions?
Tell me your story in your comments below!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.