What Scientist Know Today about Dog Memory
How good is your dog’s memory? According to Science Daily, a study at Duke University was conducted using laboratory and “citizen scientists” to prove that dog memory is a real phenomenon. In fact, dog memory in this study proved to be more important than canine sense of smell!
The citizens who participated in the study did a simple test with their dogs. They hid a treat under one of two cups as the dog watched. When the view of the cups was blocked, the owner switched the treat to the other cup. The dogs in the trial mostly went straight for the cup where they last saw the treat. If smell were the primary motivator, they should have gone to the cup that actually had the treat! So what can this mean for you and your dog’s relationship?
Work with Your Dog
On 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper did a segment on the “Smartest Dog in the World” that can identify over 1000 items by name. Chaser belongs to retired Psychology Professor Dr. John PIlley, who spends up to 5 hours per day training and playing games with her. The Border Collie does more than identify objects; she can also perform verbal actions with the items, such as “nose,” “paw” and “take.”
Test Your Dog
In the studies at Duke University, Dr. Bryan Hare, founder of the Canine Cognition Center at Duke, developed a website www.dognition.com that gives you ideas on how to test your own dog. In the 60 Minutes interview with Cooper, Dr. Hare states that new findings about dog behavior suggests what those of us who are dog owners already know! That is, dogs have different levels of intelligence and can be trained to communicate wants, remember events or recognize people and things.
Trust Your Dog
Dr. Greg Berns, Physician and Neuroscientist at Emory University, found that dog brains exhibit emotional response to us humans. In the test shown on Anderson Cooper’s interview, the dog’s brain reacted positively when he smelled his owner’s scent. The oxytocin hormone that the dog reacts with is the same one mom’s get when bonding with their newborns! Have you ever heard that you should not stare at your dog; it could be a sign of aggression? Wrong!!! When your dog is staring at you, she is really giving you a love hug with her eyes!
You will appreciate the part of Cooper’s story when he relates how he has “missed the boat” with his own dog. That is why we are giving you this information about dog memory and how brilliant our canine partners really are! It is never too late to take up new habits with your precious fur companions, so follow the links in our story and enjoy some new quality time getting to know your best friend!
The Doggie-Diva Dog Boutique thanks the following resources:
CBS 60 Minutes “The Smartest Dog in the World” by Anderson COoper
Duke University, Canine Congnitions Center, Dr. Bryan Hare