According to the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Budapest, Hungary, dogs exhibit episodic memory. Meaning they can repeat things that we do.
Over time, dogs were shown an activity, like jumping in the air, and then asked to perform the same activity with the command, “Do it!” While you may consider this training, the sessions were next followed by the presentation of the very same human activities, again like jumping, and the next time, the dogs were asked to lie down after viewing each activity. After one hour, the dogs viewed the activities again and responded on cue with the previous command, “Do it!” This not only indicates their ability to recognize human commands but the ability to remember the differences in similar activities
“From a broad evolutionary perspective, this implies that episodic-like memory is not unique and did not evolve only in primates but is a more widespread skill in the animal kingdom,” says Dr. Fugazza, Program Director. “We suggest that dogs may provide a good model to study the complexity of episodic-like memory in a natural setting, especially because the species has the evolutionary and developmental advantage to live in human social groups.”
For us dog owners, quite simply put, your dogs are paying attention, and they’ll remember what you did. Now if they just had opposable thumbs.
Author: Delmarva Unleashed, a Mid-Atlantic canine magazine, has three field research teams tracking the performance of various products for their readers. All teams have scientific backgrounds, and the publisher also has a certification in canine foods.