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Dogs May Remember More Than You May Think

A new study published in Current Biology on Nov. 23, found dogs can remember and even relive experiences similar to how humans do. Called the "Do As I Do" test, researchers gathered 17 dogs and tested their ability to imitate their owner's actions on command.

"If you ask a dog to imitate an action that was demonstrated some time ago," Claudia Fugazza says, co-author of the study, "then it is something like asking, 'Do you remember what your owner did?'

"We cannot directly investigate what is in the dog's mind," Fugazza, an ethologist at the University of Eotvos Lorand in Budapest, said in an interview. "So we have to find behavioral evidence of what they expect or not."

Fugazza and her colleagues say the results are the first example of non-humans remembering complex events without practicing during a waiting period, providing groundwork for more research on episodic memory dogs and other animals. "I think every dog owner knows that dogs remember events. What is new and important is that dogs can remember events even if those events do not seem to be important," she said.

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