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Old 02-08-2012, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Poodle's memory ?

Does anyone know how long poodles (or dogs in general) hold onto memories for? For example, last September we went on a 4 day camping trip and took Casper with us. We are going back to the same place in May and was wondering if he'd have any recollection of having been there before? Or if we have friends/family that he hasn't seen in say a month or two, will he remember them upon seeing them again? Just curious....
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mine remember people and places very well indeed. When Sophy was about 6 months old, I left her with a pet sitter, who took her for a particularly long walk along the river bank near here. A full year later I did the same walk - it was only the second time she had been that way, and I had never been there. At one point the path vanished into a field, and it was not at all obvious which way we should go, but Sophy struck off unerringly diagonally across the field heading straight for the footbridge hidden in the bushes in the far corner. She has a much better memory for directions and walks than I have! And they both remember people who have stayed for a while, and greet them like old friends at the next meeting. The downside, of course, is that they also remember scary stuff...
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think dogs have great memories. Two examples:

1. A friend and I took her golden retriever to a private swimming pool where he was allowed to swim. He jumped in the water and swam around. But he had trouble getting out until we directed him to the steps in the shallow end. Two years later we went back to the same pool. The dog remembered exactly where the steps were and swam directly to them when he wanted to get out.

2. I got my spoo Bob when he was 4 1/2. Quite a while after he had been living with me (maybe a year or two), we were at the park and a man was sitting on a bench reading the paper. Bob when running up to him and gave him an extremely friendly greeting. The man pushed him aside. Then I recognized that the man was Bob's previous owner! I said to the man, "Hey that's your boy, Bob!" He said "Oh you mean he doesn't do that with everyone?" So my conclusion is that Bob has a better memory than the man who owned him for over 4 years!
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know about people he hasn't seen in a long time, but I have been suspecting Cal from using his memory next to his nose, when I make him search for treats inside the house. He systematically visits all the spots I have been using before

It would be interesting to see if he will still recognize his previous owner after 14 months
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It may be variable depending on the emotional resonance of the person or place. Mine remembers all people who have ever given him treats, ever, and sits expectantly in front of them .
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep, mine too - and they absolutely RACE to be first to greet the lady who once dropped her bag of treats all over the path!
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We got Ginger @ 2 yrs, she was returned to her breeder b/c of family issues. She had been adopted by that family @ under 6 mths of age. The breeder told us when we went to meet Ginger that when returned she had jumped out of the car and was very excited to be back. She said that Ginger definitely knew she was back home and in a happy place. Ginger greeted her mom - so excited to see her. For that reason I would never take her back for a visit, we communicate via email to let Judy know how we/she is doing. After being rehomed several times - birth home, 1st family, back to breeder for 3 months then to us I just think it would be create anxiety for Ginger to visit even after almost 3 years. So yes she has long term memory. Both our dogs know the kennel they go to once a year and they greet the people they know there but not those they don't know.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I haven't had a chance to observe this in my poodle yet but my other SAR dog's memory amazes me. My team switches up where we train, we often go months before returning to a location. While working Fable will go and quickly check a place that was the location of a source...6 months earlier. Sometimes on our busy 8-10 hour training days Fable will locate 12-20 sources. And she remembers where they were half a year later. It astounds me.
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