It is very likely your dog can remember things that have happened in the past and especially events that happened recently, like where they left their ball outside yesterday. So in short, your dog can probably remember certain things from the day before!
Signs of a Dog Remembering the Day Before
Perhaps when they wake up in the morning and go downstairs with you they will run right over to the couch and retrieve the toy. This is a sign they remembered where they put the toy the day before.
Some dogs will also show they remember things from the past by staring at something intently they remember from the days before, tilting their head to the side at something familiar, or spinning, barking, and getting excited over something that happened in the days before.
Your dog performing their training skills properly can also suggest that they can pull from their memory to do certain learned commands like "sit," "stay," "come," and more at the right times and when asked.
- Head tilting
- Finding toys with ease
- Responding to trained commands
- Following a routine
History of Dogs Remembering Past Events
However, as time progressed, more studies and interest was shown on this subject, which led to some very interesting findings of a dog's ability to remember events from the past. In short, we now know that dogs can definitely remember things from the past, but not exactly in the same way as humans can.
For instance, dog owners often tell stories of their dog's uncanny ability to know a certain car drive leads to their favorite walking trail. Others claim their dogs can very distinctly remember when they hid a bone or a toy the day before. Some dogs will even dig, burry, and cover their bones with dirt outside in the yard and leave it there for a day or more. The dog will go right back to the same spot to dig the bone back out. Although this may have to do a bit with scent, it had to do with memory as well.
Science Behind Dogs Remembering the Day Before
For the study, they had the dogs watch their owners do a certain task and in some instances, the dogs would be encouraged to do that certain task as well. The dogs were then taken away from the task/object for some time and then brought back to where they were learning this task.
They found that the dogs were able to perform the task they had been doing previously but they also were able to recall and imitate the tasks they just watched their owners do. The researchers behind this study claim this is evidence to support the theory a dog is able to remember specific events, things, and tasks from the past and actually act on those memories as well. Dogs do indeed have declarative memory.
Training Dogs to Remember Things from the Day Before
Choose a task to do with your dog. For instance, you can show them where a squeaker on a new toy is and how they should squeak it. Do this for a little while and then guide your dog away for a bit and distract them with something else. You can take them for a walk, feed them, or play with them outside.
After a few hours, take your dog back into the room with the toy and then simply observe their behavior. See if they go for the toy, pick it up, and try to squeak the toy. Do they play with the toy in the same way you were playing with the toy with them? You will likely see that your dog has gone to play with the toy in the same manner that they were playing with the toy when you were there. They will likely also remember how to squeak the toy and squeak the toy in the correct place.
How to React to Your Dog's Memory:
Put effort into to daily training. Your dog will pick up and remember the information.
Establish a routine. Dogs thrive when they know what's next.
If your dog gets especially excited before walks to certain places, use these excursions to reward your pooch.