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Tell me about how dogs minds work?

(10 Posts)
Tezacat Fri 27-Jan-17 22:32:11

Possibly a really stupid question but do dogs have an awareness of time? Do they miss their owners? My DDog (JRT) is 7 and every year since we've had her she's gone to a family who home board her whilst we are on holiday from anything from a few days up to two weeks. She's always been fine apparently, she's well socialised and apart from a couple of walks a day loves nothing better than hogging your lap.
Unfortunately the home boarders have stopped providing the service so I have found an alternative, another lady who takes dogs into her home. She has a dog of her own and next week we will start to meet so my dog gets used to her, her home and dog, working up to longer and longer periods until our summer holiday which will be 22 nights long this year.
A colleague was amazed that I would do it, she said that dogs can't comprehend time, that it meant nothing to them and they don't mind who is looking after them as long as they are fed and walked etc.
How true is this? Can dogs grieve for their owners? Can they miss people and will the 22 nights we are away feel a lifetime to her?

ohmygodyouguys Fri 27-Jan-17 22:42:08

Greyfriars Bobby certainly missed his owner when he died. My sister went away for two weeks once and our mum looked after her dog, dog was quite elderly by then but when my sister got back she was jumping about all excited to see her, so yes, I believe dogs can and do miss people.
I don't know if dogs can comprehend time to the same level we can, but she'll know it's quite a few nights that you're away. Hopefully her new doggy pal will help make the time go quickly for her!

dudsville Sat 28-Jan-17 21:53:48

I think dogs live in the moment, that moment could be "loss" as much as it could be "squirrel". It's good you're building up time with your dog's new holiday cover.

Catch583 Mon 30-Jan-17 21:01:07

I don't think dogs have any concept of time. At the end of a walk they don't know whether they were out for 15 minutes or an hour. When you come in the door you get the same OTT welcome whether you were away a minute then remembered what you'd forgotten or if you've been gone half the day.
They do have internal clocks which tell them when it's dinner time or bed time.

Eolian Mon 30-Jan-17 21:07:20

They don't have any concept of time in the same way we do, but they certainly might react differently to being left alone for 6 hours than 1 hour and they definitely often care who looks after them! My dog reacts slightly differently even to different members of the family and he would not like it if I went off and left him with someone he doesn't know.

Shriek Mon 30-Jan-17 23:46:21

dogs work out whats happening or going to be happening from the cues around them... so when a tv show is on telly and then you always get up after thats finished to feed them.

they are also very much out of sight out of mind. Lack of stimulation for long periods, i.e. being left for an hour or two as opposed to 6 whilst going out to work. some ddogs are far more connected to their owners than others.

the best thing is what you are doing and get your ddog connected to the new carers asap with lots of time together as its a long time apart. i know mine do get down if i am gone for any length of time, one in particular.

Tezacat Tue 31-Jan-17 11:13:43

Ah this is so hard, I visited the new carer yesterday, shes a lovely lady who has a really friendly dog of her own but my dog hates being anywhere than with me. She spent most of the time trying to avoid the friendly attention of the other dog and climb onto my lap, either that or she wouldnt engage and just sat looking expectantly at me willing me to take her away.
Being a JRT she can be a little growly and she made it quite clear she wasnt fussed about the other dog being too rumbustious around her. She was better when they ran out the garden to play although she kept coming back every 30 seconds to make sure I was there.
I think I'll have to book her in and leave her the next visit, she's worse If I still there I think.

buckyou Tue 31-Jan-17 11:41:41

Yeah they are bothered who looks after them. I couldn't put mine in kennels. We normally get someone to come and house sit. Have other animals too though.

SleightOfMind Tue 31-Jan-17 21:23:11

Our lovely dog sitter told us our dogs pined badly for the first few days. she had to coax them to eat/go out on walks and they kept going and crying in our bedroom 😦.
By day 3 they were much cheerier but would charge up to young children in the park, looking for the twins ( they've never done this before or since).

They know her well and adore her and she looks after them in our home.
They miss us but not sure about their concept of time.

Imamouseduh Wed 01-Feb-17 22:48:00

I think they have a certain grasp of time. I certainly get a different greeting dependent on if I pop to the shop for 15 mins or am out for three hours. If I'm away a couple of weeks he goes absolutely mental on my return.

Definitely best to Let him get used to the sitter's house while you aren't there, he will be more settled without you. A few visits would work. I think they do remember you while you aren't there, but only if something triggers a habit, like they hear a key in the lock or they find some clothing that smells like you. The rest of the time I think it's out of sight out of mind though!

I do notice that my dog will ignore the upstairs neighbours coming and going all day but as soon as it gets close to the time my husband gets home his ears prick each time someone opens the street door. He also comes and rests his head on my lap dead on midday for his lunch and 6pm for his supper. So yes I think they grasp time in some way, even if not the same way we do.

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