Archive for Jul 2007

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Telling Time

July 4, 2007

What do you think…can dogs tell time?

 Telling Time

I recently read an article that talked about a dog that loved to sing along with certain radio program theme songs. The dog not only started to recognize the lead up to the program, but the owner claimed the dog would start to get excited right around the time the radio program was about to start, even if the radio was off. The dog would not only know when his favorite daily program was on, but when a once a week program was set to start. So not only could he tell the time but he also knew what day of the week it was.

The article caused me to reflect on the behaviour of the one dog I know best…Coulee. She definitely knows when it is time to eat. She seems to know when Marlin gets home from work. She knows when it is time to get up in the mornings (but she definitely hasn’t figured out that weekends are for sleeping in!) Does this mean she can tell time? All of these can be explained by her “Tummy Clock”. She is fed shortly after we get up in the mornings and shortly after Marlin gets home. So maybe when her tummy starts to feel empty, she knows it is time to get up or wait by the door, as opposed to actually knowing by the sun, or whatever.

But that theory doesn’t explain Charlie. Charlie is a dog I walk every Tuesday and Thursday. He knows the days and times when I arrive. You could argue that it is his owner’s routine that lets him know when I’m going to get there but his owner is retired and her days are anything but routine. He is often reminding her of my visit, before she has even realized it is almost time. He some times comes up to her, swats her with a paw and starts to whine. Other days he sits at the window waiting for me to drive up. He doesn’t do this on Mondays, Saturdays or any other days other than Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m not sure how to expain that!

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