Can Dogs Think About the Future?

I’ve often wondered if dogs can think about the future.

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Some stories of dogs “predicting” earthquakes or storms seem to suggest they can even “see” the future. But apparently, these are just cases of super-sensitivity to ultrasound or smell according to this article.

Dogs of course show excitement when reuniting with owners, and who can forget the loyalty of Hachiko, who waited for his owner for years at Shibuya station. But although these suggest that dogs can remember and associate, their perception of time is limited according to studies. Only humans have the ability to use episodic memory, which allows us to “travel through time, recalling past events and looking forward to future ones.”

I guess that ability is what allows us, humans (I’m assuming no dog is reading this post!), to plan the future. But it’s a blessing and a curse, because that probably is also what makes us worry about the future.

Worrying causes stress, specially worrying about the future.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
― Leo Buscaglia

But dogs have it all figured out – they rely on humans to solve almost any of their problems.

Don’t you just want to be a dog sometimes?

(Note: This is not a scientific or scholarly article, simply a string of thoughts brought about by the Future challenge.)

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10 thoughts on “Can Dogs Think About the Future?

  1. I love the photo. Can’t tell you how much it touches me. Wish I’d have one of my own but thankful for the footprints I have gathered. A path to any open heart ….

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    1. Having read you blog, though I can’t claim to fully know what you went through, I can understand how this may have brought back some memories for you.
      Thank you for sharing…

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  2. Find a story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr about Edison’s Dog and then there’s the story of Greyfriars Bobby, the terrier who guarded his owner’s grave for 14 years, until his own death, in 1872

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