A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

By Monday, April 23, 2018 10 No tags Permalink

Have you ever wondered about a dogs episodic memory capability? …

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

While the Boys and I were on our Just the Three of Us tour – there were plenty of places and people I wanted to see.

As I mapped out our schedule, I found myself adrenalized at the thought of taking both Harley and Jaxson back to our old stomping grounds.

But would they remember anything, anyone?

Episodic Memory –  is the memory of autobiographical events (times and places). The collection of past personal experiences that occurred at a particular time and place. Source: Wiki

TESTING THEIR MEMORY –

For years, scientists thought only humans (and possibly apes) could remember recent events not directly important to them.

If you ask me, dogs deserve a place on this list, let me tell you why –

As I turned the car onto the street of our old home, Harley and Jax were both perched by their respected car windows.

Because we lived in the bottom neck of a cul-de-sac, leashes were rarely worn when we were outside. So when I parked at our former next door neighbor’s house and let them out they instinctively did what they remembered.

Uninstructed Harley ran for our front door, and Jaxson ran to the gate of our backyard.

The significance of their maneuvers is huge. Harley was a front porch, lay on the concrete and catch some sun rays kind of Doodle. Jaxson was the wild one who loved to run up and down the hills of our 1/2 acre backyard.

They both remembered.

I knocked on our neighbors door (who they haven’t seen in two years) and the reception was reminiscent of 2015…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

Those photo bubbles are from years ago….

Lil’ Marshall was all over our blog years ago. He grew up knocking on our door asking if the Boys could come out to play. He was 8 years old when we met, and 11 years old when we left. At 14 years old, the Boys were all over him…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

THE THEORY –

Many experts suggest our precious pups may have more advanced memories than we could ever imagine. I tend to agree.

There was no way I could have slipped into the State of Virginia and NOT taken the Boys to their true “home away from home”Olde Towne Pet Resort!…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

Harley grew up at OTPR. I was a 40 hour a week working woman when he was a puppy, I didn’t want him home alone at 4 months of age. Leo and Jaxson fell into the same schedule until we left the area.

Their reunion was crazy…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

Harley “hopped” around in true Doodle Rabbit fashion and leaped completely off the floor when someone from his former years came into the lobby area to say hello.

The moment that melted my heart was of course seeing Harley and Fernando Lobo. Fernando was Harley’s sole groomer for close to six years. I honestly don’t know who loves whom more…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

Lord knows my photo library holds thousands of photos of the Boys. My all time favorite is the one I use on my website’s “Contact Us” page. This precious little girl allowed us to place peanut butter on her nose to capture this magnificent pose.

It was doodlelighful to see her and the Boys interact again…

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

My Boys are very friendly. But I can always decipher the –

Nice to meet you

from the –

OMDoodle it’s so good to see you again

greeting from them.

There’s a distinct difference!

EXPLICIT MEMORY –

There are two forms of “explicit memory.” 

We use episode memory to recall information we’ve consciously learned or memorized (example: when your friend asked you how was your trip that you took yesterday).

We use semantic memory to recall information we’ve learned or memorized (example: studying for that final exam).

With us, episodic memory has been linked to self-awareness, but since we don’t know whether dogs have the ability to be self-aware – experts call it “episodic-like memory.”

Whatever the case, I believe it’s there. Not sure the depth of memory, but somethings there. Why else would Jaxson run over to the retail display and jump in the pool like he did all those years ago LOL….

A DOGS EPISODIC MEMORY CAPABILITY

Have you noticed signs of “episodic-like” memory with your pooch? Do tell…

Make it a great week – be kind to someone ❤

10 Comments
  • Monika & Sam
    April 23, 2018

    My dogs are more like elephants in that they seem to fur-get nothing! Looks like you had a lovely trip ‘home.’

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      Don’t you find it interesting how somethings that they remember seem to have more meaning to them. I watch Harley all the time, and places or people seem to excite him more than others.

  • Shadow and Ducky's Mom
    April 23, 2018

    Shadow and Callie – when they were younger – remembered everyone. My poodle, Kissy, used to remember the local roads near Bear Mountain State Park in New York. She would sleep all the way up there from our house on Long Island until I made one particular turn off the highway, and then she’d go from one end of the back seat to the other. And when we got there? She’d be all excited and dancing around like a little kid waiting for me to let her out of the car. Ducky? Well, it’s hard to tell with her sometimes.

    Anyway, it looks like the three of you had a wonderful trip back home. The little girl has grown up a bit, hasn’t she? She’s still cute though.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      Your trip sounds a great deal like my trip! Dogs fascinate me. I could watch them for hours – they are always surprising me. On a side note – I went to a camp up in Bear Mountain for years. Always stayed up there the last two weeks of July.

  • Emma
    April 23, 2018

    We remember all the important things. Mom says a lot of it is smell related. Even a neighborhood has an odor to it. Glad you all had so much fun.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      Your Mom is right, smell does contribute greatly. I still think there’s other triggers which has us humans so intrigued with just how your brains actually work. Wish you could give us some insight Emma….

  • Jan K
    April 23, 2018

    Dogs have amazing memories! I got Luke’s nose work hides out after months of not doing any, and he remembered exactly where we left off, and found it every time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      They fascinate me Jan. I could sit and observe them all day long. Hows Luke coming along these days?

  • Catherine
    May 24, 2018

    My dog has a fantastic memory if he is interested he finds my car key or his leash because he likes to go with my car

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 27, 2018

      Now Catherine – that is impressive! Thanks so much for stopping by, please come back again soon!

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