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I've read in countless books that dogs don't have any memory.  Typically this comes up in training topics, such as "Don't punish your dog for peeinig even miniutes after the act because he will NOT relate the punishment to the act."    I've also read, countless times, that if your dog pees in the house and then does the "hang-dog, guilty slink-away" when you come home it is NOT because he knows he did wrong by peeing in the house, it's because he always expects you to be pissed off at him when you come home (presumably because you do this regularly because s/he pees in the house regularly).

Well, all I have to say is BS!  There are clearly not enough people out there studying dogs and their capabilities and inherent intelligence.  Our last dog, Zelda (a lovely mutt) "unlearned" her housebreaking when we went away for a three day weekend and entrusted her to a neighbor who only let her out twice a day.  From that weekend on, Zelda seemed to think "Hmm, I got to pee in the hallway while they were gone, I get to pee in the hallway forever."  HOWEVER!  She didn't do it everyday.  And she ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS would greet me enthusiastically on the days when she had NOT peed in the hallway, and would slink away with her head down on the days she DID pee in the hallway.

Do NOT tell me dogs don't have any memory or understand their own actions!  Zelda proved to me that they're a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

AnnA
 

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I do agree that dogs do have a memory, of both good & bad experiences. Tia, my first rescue that we got when she was 9 mos, had been physically abused, she was very leery of both my ex & myself as far as touching her. Automatically she would shy away a bit..Now if that isn't a memory, I don't know what is. Samson also had some bad experiences prior to me adopting him, a lot of issues with men, so we came to the conclusion that a man had been very unkind to him in the past.

So, we can either create good memories or bad, it is up to us. On a final note, it's been 5 yrs since I have seen Buck & Tia and I have no doubt whatsoever that if I were to see them now, they would remember me...Oh yea, dogs have memory  :)
 

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I totally agree that dogs have a memory.  :)  I have never punished my dogs for going potty in the house, it didn't matter if I caught them in the act or not, I would just clean it up and go about my business. If I would come home and they did mess up they knew it and they would slink around me like they did something wrong. Just recently I came home to half eaten pork chops, when I opened the door Maddie went the other way from me. She usually bounces and kidney beans around for a good 10 minutes when I return. She was slinking around like she knew she did something bad. I was looking and sniffing around for the "mess", only to find the raw half eaten pork chops on the floor!  8O She was a rescue, and there are clues that she has been beaten before, so maybe that is what she is remembering, so yes I definitely agree dogs do have a memory!  :wink:
 

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I agree that they have a memory too.  My old dog wouldn't see my bestfriend for years and whenever she did see her she'd get so excited!  She loved my bestfriend.  Rather sleep on her bed with her than in my bed with me.
 

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I agree.  I have always believed that they remember.   If they didn't have memory,  how can the fact that they recognize and react accordingly to people and situations be explained?  

My dogs know and react when we are going certain places, to the vet, to Petsmart, etc.  They also know when we are nearing home.  They can recognize the sound of our cars and respond before they are in sight, standing by the door and whining and doing kidney beans in anticipation.  I always know when my DH is nearing home by their behavior.  

We took in a stray years ago that couldn't stand the sight of a broom.  I guess she must have been beaten with one.  Isn't that memory?  It also took us a long time to get her to allow her tail to be touched.  Was her tail pulled?  Was she carried or thrown around by her tail?  We did overcome this but it took a long time.

My rescue Champ has issues with men as did Willow's Samson.  Memories of abusive treatment by a man?   I'm pretty sure.  We are working on this using Liz's suggestions and I am seeing good progress.  

Liz, if you see this....THANKS!
 

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I agree dogs have great memories, just like remembering they don't like the mailman, or going to the vet, or loud noises, and on and on.  What they don't have is a very long attention span.  Somewhere I read that a boxer has the attention span of a goldfish (11 seconds).  But that is because they are very intelligent and they are easily distracted and off to bigger and better things.  It's more a matter of choices for them, I know I am not suppose to do this, but what the heck, I'll do it anyway.
 

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Yes, I think you are right about the attention span.  I also read or heard that they pretty much live in the moment.
 

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I dont think that memory really has anything to do with them associating going potty in the house and later being yelled at it and not knowing what they're being yelled at for.  Its obvious they have a memory, Jessie turns at my house every time we come back from a walk.  It's one thing to remember a person or dog, because that is probably associated with a smell, but to remember a building is different. IMO!
 

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I think they have memory. I also agree with how they live in the moment and feed off your vibes.

I'd go away for years and when I'd come back to visit Nikki... she was all over me like "WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN!!!!????" Now if that's not memory I don't know what is!!
 

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I haven't heard it so much as dogs don't have any memory, as that dog's don't generalize well and, as you noted in your original post, won't associate a punishment now with peeing 20 minutes ago.   It seems that it would be quite detrimental to a carnivorous pack animal to not have any memory - how could they ever work together as a pack, or on the hunt, or find game or water or safe places?
 
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