I figured it’d be fun to answer a question that a lot of people have. Can dogs, or all animals, tell time? The answer to this question… Yes! As a matter of fact, dogs and other animals can indeed tell time. Unbelievable? Well believe it. There have been numerous tests preformed that indicate that animals can, in fact, tell time. One of them you may have seen on t.v. last night on Animal Planet. A researcher did a study with bees where at precisely 3:35 every day he put out some nectar for the bees. Eventually, there were several bees that came to feed. While the bees fed, he painted their backs to identify them. The next day, at 3:35 the same bees arrived to feed.. on time! After awhile, he observed that some of those same bees.. arrived early, anticipating being fed. So they not only knew they’d be fed at 3:35, but they also knew that if they arrived early they wouldn’t have to fight other bees to be fed. Amazing!
There was a dog who learned that his master always arrived on the 5:30 train. So he’d meet his master at the train station. He would always get there just as the train was pulling into the station. He was as punctual and reliable as the train! One day however, he arrived and his master didn’t get off the train. He waited and waited, but what he didn’t know was that his master had been rushed to the hospital and had died. Every day for the rest of his life he was still at the train station at 5:30 to wait for his departed master.
Stories like these are not uncommon. As a matter of fact, we hear stories of dogs waiting at the door when they know their masters are due home. Some dogs even ask to go out to potty at the same time everyday. Others wake up at a certain time each morning and wake up their masters for work. They can be so reliable that their masters don’t even require an alarm clock!
They have a biological clock in their brain. We have it as well. According to the show, these biological clocks are cells deep with in the brain that produce enzymes, and then break down the enzymes with in a 24 hour period. So dogs just know what time of day it is. We on the other hand have become dependent on clocks.
Dogs can’t look at a clock and tell that it is 4:00 p.m. But they do know the events that usually occur at that particular time. Even if it is a trivial event to us, it triggers to the dog what time of day it is. For example, maybe the hot water heater makes that boiling sound the same time every day.
So there you have it! Dogs really can tell time! It all goes back to routine. Dogs are very sensitive to routine, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries. So the next time you come home late from work to find your pooch upset, it’s probably because you didn’t call to let him know you’d be late! LOL!