Is it possible that my dog misses me? Yes, they do, and they are aware of how long we are gone. So much so that they hate being left alone for short periods. They are pack animals that need others around them for companionship and security.
The theory is that dogs perceive time uniquely through smell rather than the passage of minutes and seconds.
For example, suppose a person’s scent is powerful when they are getting ready to leave the house in the morning, and that scent wears off as the day progresses.
They learn that the moment their human’s daytime odor is almost invisible until they return home. The more substantial the after-smell, the shorter the time that has passed.
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How Are Dogs Left Alone?
Although it is still unclear whether dogs know how long they are left alone. Research suggests that they are more likely to miss their owner for two hours than when left alone for 30 minutes. But there’s not much difference between two and four hours.
It’s hard not to shed tears when you see a video of a dog welcoming its loved one again after a long time. You have also seen videos of soldiers returning home, and these pups greet them with an emotional breakdown after reuniting with them.
The videos suggest that dogs miss their humans more as time goes on. But can dogs perceive time the way humans do? Do they show emotional reactions depending on how much time has passed?
We know the difference between an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, and so on because we experience, record, and remember the time. But are dogs able to measure time in the same way?
If you’re worried that your dog is bored or lonely during the day, you can buy a camera that lets you talk to your dog and even give treats or play games when you’re not home.
Reasons Why Dogs Miss Their Owners
- Like any small child, they will cry if they do not have some form of entertainment.
- It is hard to tell if they know the time of day. However, two behaviors indicate they have a sense of time.
- He stands at the door every day, waiting for you to get home. It is either because it is darker outside or you come home at about the same time every day. Since his hearing is much better than yours, he can hear the front gate open.
- He’s hungry, and it’s time to feed him, or he needs to empty his bowels and wants to go for a walk. Biology is a great motivator, and the need to answer nature’s call can seem like an indicator of knowing time is passing.
- There have some form of communication with the dog next door, letting you know that his food supplier is returning.
How Does A Dog Tell How Long You’ve Been Gone?
Your dog can measure time in its way, although this is different from the human sense of time. If dogs can perceive time in their way, it stands to reason that your dog will react differently if you leave him for a minute than going to him for 5 hours.
Also, you probably know how your dog reacts when you return home after an extended absence. It shows different signs and responds differently. Even when you leave your dog for only a few minutes, it will miss you and react differently when it greets you than if you go to work for a whole day.
Therefore, your dog will be much more excited and hyperactive if you are gone for an extended period. Your dog will jump at you, bark, wag its tail, be alert, put its ears on, lick your face, wiggle its furry bottom, and more.
Furthermore, these signs indicate that your dog is thrilled to see you after being alone for a long time. It greets you as if it hasn’t seen you in years.
If we compare this intense reaction to the one, your dog shows when you go out the door for a moment to get the mail. He is happy to see you, wagging his tail and running toward you when you come back inside. However, they are much more subdued and do not react violently.
How Do Dogs Register Time When They Miss You?
Most dog parents can tell you that their pups are very good at keeping track of daily time. They know minutes daily when it’s time to wake up, go outside, eat, and so on.
You can set your watch by your dog’s ability to stick to the schedule. Also, does this mean dogs can create schedules as humans do with episodic memories?
Maybe, but not necessarily. Like most animals, dogs can tell the time in many ways that don’t depend on episodic memories.