Interesting conclusion about dogs...what do you think?

United States
June 11, 2008 8:00pm CST
I have noticed something strange about dogs. It is funny if you think about it. Dogs seem to know what time it is, yet they have no concept of time. If you watch how they act you will see what I mean. Dogs seem to know what time it is…yet they have no concept of time. Let me explain what I mean. We have all heard stories seeming to confirm that dogs know what time it is. There are stories about dogs showing up at school yards every day at certain times to walk home with the kids who own them. I have a similar story of my own. My step-mom has a poodle that lays on a blanket in the living room all day while my step-mom is at work. It doesn’t matter who else is in the house, the dog usually won’t move or even lift its head off the blanket. It looks kind-of sad lying there actually. However, if you watch the dog about 3 p.m., you will notice that she will start lifting her head off the blanket every time she hears a noise. You see, my step-mom usually gets home from work about 3-4 p.m., so, the dog starts lifting her head and looking around the room about that time because she thinks the noises she hears may be my step-mom coming home from work. It is almost like the dog knows what time it is. I also have noticed that dogs seem to have no concept of time. They seem to know what time it is, but they have no understanding of how many minutes pass from one point in the day to another. My evidence of this comes from noticing my own dogs. I noticed the way the act when I come home from work every day. They meet “daddy” at the door and are all excited and jumping around chasing their tails and stuff when I come into the kitchen. They are excited to see me after I have been gone all day. However, I also noticed how they act when I am home on the weekends and I come inside from being in the yard for an hour or so while working on stuff outside. I usually try to go inside every couple of hours at least to check on them and maybe to take them outside. Even if I am outside for only 20 minutes or so, they act the same way when I come back in that they act when I come home after work when I have been gone for eight or ten hours. They are just as excited and they jump around chasing their tails…whether I have been outside for 20 minutes or I have been at work for eight hours. These facts lead me to the conclusion that dogs may know what time it is, but they have no concept of time.
4 people like this
10 responses
@anawar (2406)
• United States
12 Jun 08
goldneeagle_ Okay, time is only a concept. We only notice that twenty minutes is less than an hour, because we have a clock with hands that shows us time has passed. I know I've been caught up in something and hours will pass by without notice_ eventually, I do notice the only light in the room is coming from my computer screen_ Or_ dogs are smarter and more compassionate than humans. They know enough not to be governed by a clock and they love so freely that no matter how long you're away, be it five minutes or 7 hours, they are always happy to see you. The amount of love they give out doesn't diminish as times goes by. Babies are always happy to see us. Even if it's just within the time increment of peek-a-boo. It's a slight variation of thinking. What do you think of my musings?
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
12 Jun 08
very interesting and I think you are on to something. I never thought of it that way
• United States
12 Jun 08
I just wanted to say I like anawar's answer to this one. It's logical and to the point. How else would a creature which has never been taught the concept of time act?
@anawar (2406)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Hey you guys, you're blowing my image of being a dumb blonde! Thanks for your comments. It's nice to know someone listens to this stuff that falls out of my head.
@fifileigh (3621)
• United States
12 Jun 08
i think dogs have a keen sense of hearing and smell. they dont necessary know the time, but they know the exact sound of your car, footsteps, voice, and even your smell as walk towards the front door to come in or as your car pulls up the driveway...then they become excited that you are finally home to be with them. that is what i noticed for my 3 late shihtzus. they dont like being left home alone, but become very excited when i return home. they are usually waiting for my by the front door when i open it and start doing a dance routine in excitement. even my late cat used to get excited when i come home and i see her sitting by the door waiting for me to return. pets really dont like being home alone without you, whether cats or dogs. even cats have keen senses that they feel you near the house, about to enter, and become excited. animals live on instinct and their sense to survive, and gain knowledge about their surroundings for survival.
@fifileigh (3621)
• United States
13 Jun 08
i think because the dogs smell the familiar person ahead of time, and they get excited because they know that person as someone who lives in their household, happy to see their owners return to give them more attention and love and crave from you...
• Australia
13 Jun 08
I think the issue here is that they have a 'body clock' like we do. It's like we always get hungry at the same times each day etc. The most obvious example of this is 'jetlag'. If you make an overseas trip and are suddenly in a place where it is daytime where at home it is night time and you would be sleeping... you will feel tired. Then at night you will feel wide awake because your body is accustomed to it being daytime at that time. So I think this is what is happening with the dogs (or other animals for that matter). Their instinct is telling them that certain habitual things happen at 'X' time.
@iskayz (5424)
• Philippines
12 Jun 08
Hi goldeneagle! I think dogs somehow also know what day it is. I have 2 dogs and I leave them everyday to go work, Mondays-Fridays. Within those days they don't follow me when I go out of the house. As if they know I am going to work and they can't come with me. They just lie down and like your mom's dog they seem lonely. But during weekends, when they see me dressed and ready to go out, they'd come running through the door wanting to go out too. They even know where to get their leash and hand it to me. I didn't even taught them how to do that. Somehow everyday I notice that they're behavior is becoming more human like. Their senses are very keen that they even know when I'm sad and happy. When I'm sad I notice they like to lie down on my lap staring at me. As if they wanted to tell me "don't be sad, I am here". But when I'm happy, they're just as happy as I am. Looking at me, wiggling their tails, smiling at me. Dogs are wonderful creations of God. Like humans God made them unique. Though how much we try to think about whats really going on in their heads, we won't be able to figure it out For me, I would just love them back and not think about it.
• United States
12 Jun 08
Dogs definitely know what time it is. But so do cats! I got home about 5:20 everyday; my cat was an indoor-outdoor cat. He would be down in the woods doing cat things, but as soon as I pulled up in the driveway, he would be running out, meowing all the way! He did this every day. Our dog Rosa used to go to the door about 5 minutes before it was time for me to come home. She would stand there every day, waiting. I've had other dogs who did the same. Even if there were other people at home, she still stood there. So yes, they do know what time it is. lol But yes, you are right! They have no concept of time. It's funny how you can be gone for only a short time, but they greet you like you've been gone for a week! Don't you just love it?
@emma412 (1156)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I totally agree! My dogs are crazy two whenever I leave the house. I get the same response if I have been gone for hours or if I walk to the mailbox and back. My dogs eat three times a day within the same hour each of those times. Every time it creeps up on that hour both are standing next to the pantry that their food is kept in. Great observation!
@ambkeb (782)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I agree with you! LOL Our dog Jake has certain times of the day he takes naps. LOL He is just like a child. He wants his "breakfast" at the same time every morning and if I set it out earlier he wont eat it till that certain time. He is very specific about how he wants things done LOL. I know strange dog....oh well...haha...we all love him.
@ken5254 (18)
• Philippines
12 Jun 08
i agree on that. And what amused me more is the fact that you actually noticed your dog behaviors. It means that you are truly an observant or pet lover by nature. I wanna share my experience with my dogs. They are just mixed breed, to us, they call them "askals" but the love I gave them could not be measured. There came a time i bought an opthalmic ointment for the black one that has eye problem. My friend said to me that she never did a thing like that to her dog. if she only knew i just got my other dog out of the confinement a few days earlier and spent a substantial amount of money....
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
12 Jun 08
Our son and daughter-in-law invited us to go to Laos (East Asia) with them to meet our new relatives, (her Asian Family.) The family welcomed us, but they had no extra accommodation so we stayed at a nearby Hotel.They were excited about showing us their City, and surrounding Countryside, and told their daughter they would drive us around, and would pick us up at 8:am next morning. They came for us at 9:am and made no apology for being late. They were late every morning for a week,(arriving at different times) but on the last day when we had to catch the plane they were right on time.It took us quite a while to figure them out, but at last we came to this conclusion. Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world. Most people work for themselves, and have no set hours. Everyone works, but no one has to punch a clock or be anywhere or any place on time. They understand the concept but do not practise it. We believe they had no idea we were put off by their belatedness, and we went out of our way not to show it. They are wonderful people, and we loved them all in spite of their untimeliness.
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I agree with your assessment. My dog is the same. I leave for work every day around 8. My dog is not sad about this. I usually come home for lunch at noon. He is always happy to see me. Sometimes I come home at 9:30 for my break... he doesn't move. He knows I am not supposed to be home. So he doesn't get excited because he knows I will leave again. On the weekends, if we leave... he is very sad. He KNOWS we are SUPPOSED to be home. If I am home all day, but go outside to check the mail.. its like hours have passed to hm, because he is so happy that I am "back" Animals are very funny time keepers