Do Dogs Reunited With Their Puppies or “Lost” Owners Remember Them?

Does a mother dog love her puppies or is it just instinct? A mother dog bonds with her puppies from birth and if she is separated from them she whines and paces back and forth. With the dogs reunited with her babies, she shows joy. Pups too are happy to see mom, and it is not just for food. If a pup stays with mom long enough, they recognize each other when the pup is an adult. They do not squeal and leap in happy greeting, but if you observe carefully, you will see extended sniffing and wagging between a mother dog and her grown offspring.

Does your dog love you? A dog who makes and sustains eye contact with you, and greets you with her favorite toy loves you. She reacts happily to the sound of your voice. Dogs separated from their owners for years, remember them. This dog remembered his owners when they were reunited after six months. This dog remembered his person for three years. Also, Duke remembered his owner when they were reunited after eight years.

Scientists believe dogs have three types of memories.

  • Short Term Memory for a dog is between 27 seconds and ten minutes, depending on the dog and the circumstances. Since the puppy might not recall urinating in the house, rubbing the dog’s nose in it does not work. Always take a pup to its “spot” every 30-45 minutes when it is young and after every meal.
  • Long Term Memory is how a dog remembers hand signals and words for a lifetime. A dog that remembers a former owner after years of separation, probably remembers the owner by smell.
  • Associative Memory is the reason you can not punish the dog you left alone, for tearing up a pillow or getting in the trash. By the time you get home, he has no idea why you are yelling at him, and will associate your reaction with unfair discipline, and will remember it.

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