Two of the top questions asked about dogs and the way their minds work are “do dogs have long term memory?” and “how good is a dog’s memory?”
We here at Cockapoo Crazy have wondered that since for a long time, and we have done a bit of research and asking around in that time. We would like to share the results with you here.
So, do dogs have long term memories? The answer is YES. Dogs certainly have long term memories. A dog’s memory grows with him, and as they grow they learn and remember things for a longer time. A puppy has a short term memory, but his long-term memory is not good, much like a human baby. When training a puppy, this short term memory, and the attention span that comes with it, is one reason why you should do short bursts of training, increasing the chance of success.
The most important thing to your dog is his pack or family: that’s you and your household. As such, owners and family members leave a mark on their pet dogs that is never quite forgotten. Dogs can be apart from their loved ones for many months or even years and will respond to them the same way that they did so long before. This alone helps prove that dogs do have long term memories, and in fact are surprisingly smart. Cockapoos, the offspring of two highly intelligent breeds, are even smarter than most.
Puppies and dogs in general have a very high associative memory. What this means is, they recognize patterns in routine and it imprints on their memory, creating a good or bad association. This is much of what memory means for your cockapoo.
A positive memory association may be seen as the excitement that you see in your dog when you get the leash out, or pick up the food container that they see every day. These are happy and exciting experiences for your dog and he will respond in an excited way. A negative association may be a bad experience at the vet, which translates to your cockapoo getting nervous when riding in the car or going a certain route which they may associate with going to the vets office.
The great thing about your dog’s memory is that they live in the moment. Even though they may have a bad memory or experience, as soon as you leave that situation and bring a positive association into the mix, your cockapoo will be truly happy again. You can help your dog gain better positive memories by giving them a favorite toy or treat when going to a less than fun experience, and it will help them to have a better feeling towards this in time.
Their optimistic outlook on life is actually what causes many people to think that a dog has a bad memory. In fact, we could learn a lot from our dogs about moving on from the past and living in the present!
Also, training can help improve brain function and makes your dog feel more productive. Give your cockapoo some basic obedience or tricks training and expose them to new experiences regularly. This will keep your dogs brain strong, help eliminate problem behaviors, and insure that they lead a happy life.