memories...light the corners of my mind...
Carol · Aug. 6, 2013
there is another interesting aspect to the whole dogs living in the moment thing..ok lets get real. everyone knows there is no point in punishing the dog 3 hours after he got into the garbage. the general assumption is because dogs live in the moment, they can't remember what they did three hours ago.
first of all..no dog should ever be punished for getting in the garbage...3 seconds or 3 hours or three days ago. dogs are by nature scavengers, they are also walking stomachs so no point in punishing them for something so natural like scavenging in the garbage. if someone absolutely has to be punished, go after the moron who left the garbage in the vicinity of a scavenger....that was pretty damn stupid.
anyway..back to the garbage...3 hours post rip apart..sorry but yes the dog does know he did it. he actually does have memory cells and even if he didn't, the scent of the garbage is all over him and the scent of him is all over the garbage too.
the real reason why you don't punish the dog 3 hours later (besides that the actual fault of the mess lies solely with you!) is because dogs do not and cannot understand why you would possibly be upset over something that happened so long ago...as far as they are concerned that little adventure is looooong over so why is their human upset? the upside to this refusal to dwell over the past is dogs don't hold grudges, they forgive and forget as much as they can. unlike humans who catalog and list every single illegal transaction and hold it against the dog for its entire life span.
dogs have fully functioning memories, they can remember exactly where they buried a bone a month ago. they can remember people they liked (and didn't like) from their long distant past. they can remember that if they sit just like so and gently lift a paw to my lap..i will fork over a spoonful of ice cream because it worked last night in fact. so yes they can remember that they tore the garbage up several hours ago, they just don't see why you still care.
we hear and believe these stupid things about dogs like they can't remember dick from one moment to the next. yet what we miss and refuse to see is..they are a different species and they think about things differently. we need to be able to really understand this..the dog is a dog, the dog will most likely act and behave like a dog so don't leave the garbage where the dog can get it and tear it apart.
it has nothing to do with how good are their memories, how well they can follow our human rules or their ability to just live in the moment...it has to do with their nose and their stomachs and to most of them garbage is just leftover food..