How Long is a Dog’s Memory? What Your Pet Really Remember

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We’ve all heard touching stories of dogs reuniting with their owners after years apart. And even when your pooch buries a bone in the backyard and digs it up weeks later, it seems to prove that dogs have good memories.

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There are various types of memory that dogs use at different times, and some memory types are stronger than others.

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Short-term Memory

Short-term memory refers to what we are thinking about at the moment. This type of memory is transient—it lasts for a little while and then disappears, except if we commit the information to long-term memory.


Long-term Memory

While short-term memories disappear after a certain time, long-term memories are stored differently in the brain and can last for years.



Associative Memory

This type of memory is when the brain creates an association or relationship between two things. Dogs have very strong associative memories.

The Role of Your Dog’s Memory in Training

Strong emotions create better memories, so try to make training exciting for your dog. This will help your pet to learn commands faster and remember them for longer. 

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Do Dogs Remember Their Owners?

Dogs have a very strong sense of smell and can store memories related to scents. If your dog has many positive experiences with you, this will create a strong associative memory with your scent.

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