I love my owners, but sometimes they ask the silliest questions. On more than one occasion I’ve had my one owner ask me if I love them, which, of course, I do.
But that’s not even the silliest question I’ve heard. While they don’t usually ask me, I often hear my family discuss whether or not I remember them.
This usually happens when one of them has to go away on a business trip or a holiday, and it even happened after they took me to the vets for a procedure I would rather not talk about.
It used to make me upset when I’d hear this question, but instead it now just makes me want to laugh.
Of course, I remember them. In fact, I remember a lot more than they realize. I’m a rescue dog and I didn’t meet my forever family until I was a senior dog, so I feel I am fully qualified to tell you what we dogs do and don’t remember.
So if you want to find out more about my knowledge and wisdom then keep on reading.
Do Dogs Remember You?
Before I say anymore, let me make one thing clear, your dog does remember you.
We dogs don’t get enough credit for how advanced our minds and memories are, I mean humans regularly forget where they placed their keys or phone, and yet they doubt we can remember them. It really is funny.
As dogs, we spend a lot of time with our humans. Most of the time, we are welcomed into the family wholeheartedly, and we pay a lot of attention to the humans that have accepted us.
As it would be rude not to, we spend a lot of time focusing on our family and learning all of the things that make them different from one another so that we can tell everybody apart.
In particular, we pay attention to our owner’s faces and we learn every single feature so that we can always tell who they are.
Of course, this is not always possible as some dogs suffer with their vision and can’t actually see their owners that well. This is why we dogs also learn our owner’s scent, and in some ways, this is more important than learning what they look like.
We dogs have incredible noses and smelling ability which is why learning scents is so important when learning who our owners are.
Once we have learned our owner’s faces and scents we store them away in our memory for future reference. Most of the time we don’t need to recall this memory as we spend a lot of time with our owners.
But on the odd occasion that you should go away, this memory ensures we never forget who you are.
How Long does a Dog remember their owners?
It is very hard to put a definitive time on how long we remember our owners, as we dogs have a very bad sense of time.
When our owners leave us, it can seem like months of being alone, even though we were really only on our own for an hour or two. So perhaps we’re not the most reliable of witnesses.
But, remembering our owners relies a lot on scent. As I said earlier, a big part of learning who our owners are is learning their smell. So as long as we remember that smell we will remember our owners.
I have a very bad sense of time, but scientists have said that dogs can remember smells FOREVER! And that’s a really long time. So this means that as long as your dog learns your smell then they will always remember who you are, and will always associate that smell with the good times that you shared together. This is why some owners like to leave a piece of clothing they have worn with their dog if they have to go away for a little while.
Unfortunately, this does also mean that we dogs can associate smells with unpleasant times in our lives. I am a rescue dog, but I was lucky that the family I had before was always loving because some owners aren’t as kind.
I have some doggy friends who were rescued from nasty homes before they found their current families, and some scents can make them very upset. This is why it is important that you are always kind to your dog, because, just like elephants, we never forget.
Do Dogs Miss Their Owners?
It might not be the answer that as a dog owner you want to hear, but yes we dogs do miss our owners when we have to be away from them.
Of course, we understand that our owners can’t be with us every single minute of every single day, but we would love nothing more than this.
As I said, we dogs have a terrible sense of time, especially when it comes to our humans going away. Due to this, we don’t fully understand what their going away means, but we do miss their company.
My humans are part of my everyday life, and the days are always better when they spend their time with me. That being said, there is no better feeling than when the excitement I get when I see my owner coming home from a long day at work, and getting to spend the entire evening with them.
The same thing applies to rescue dogs. Even though we love our new families, we still miss our old owners because we never forget them.
While memories do fade, I sometimes smell a scent and it makes me think of my old home. This doesn’t affect how I feel about my new family, but if you own a rescue dog it is important to remember that we have a past so sometimes you will need extra patience to look after us.
In short, of course, we dogs remember our owners. In the same way that human beings do not forget the faces of their friends and co-workers, we also don’t forget our owners.
But unlike our owners, we also remember our family based on their scent which allows us to remember our owners forever.