Can Dogs Sense Time?

The most question you ask, can dogs sense time? when you are outside the home, they miss you? how do they feel that time is passing?

Humans are different from all other species because of their wisdom and ability to remember things. Can animals (dogs) remember or sense time? to understand all that we have to go deeper.

Dogs sense time by a number of ways. They have circadian rhythms, a strong sense of smell, habits, and training. Sometimes this sense is beneficial for us and sometimes disturbs us.

We feel unhappy when our dog wakes us early in the morning but feel happy when they jump at us when we come home after a tired day.

What are circadian rhythms in dogs?

All animals have circadian rhythms (Internal Clock). It is a biological clock that helps animal to determine time by sensing dark and light hours of a day. Circadian rhythms also exist in human is a 24-hour cycle that is working in the background of the brain.

Circadian rhythm works best when an animal has regular habits of eating, playing etc. at a specific time, for example, if you come home at night on specific time, your dog can sense when you will come home by the help of this internal clock.

Dogs can differentiate between 30 minutes and 3 hours, but can’t between 3 hours and 6 hours with this biological clock. It only helps the dog to determine when there is night, you will come or he will get food and when there is light (morning), you will go outside.

Dogs use Nose to Determine Time

Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and that sense helps them to determine time. But how? when we use a perfume, its scent is strong soon after using and then it fades away with time.

Dog Smelling Something

In the same way, when you leave home, your scent is strong and after 3-4 hours it fades and after 7-8 hours it fades more. Your dog can sense, now scent is strong, and you just have left the home and when it is faded, he understands, now you come back.

Dogs can Remember

Dogs can remember the sense of smell, taste, sound, and activities. By the help of this memory, they can know what to do. They are good observers and know what are you doing. Next day they will alert you to that specific activity.

Dogs can’t remember like us, we can remember books, history, tasks, events and much more. Animals have a brain too, but their brain is not much active like us. No doubt, their sense of smell, and to remember that particular smell, is much stronger than human beings.

Related: Do Dog have Feelings?

Dogs can be Trained to Sense Time

Yes! you can train your dog to sense time. For example, you wants to sleep more, but your dog wakes you early on every day. You can manipulate their this habit by proper training. But there some habits are already good like jumping at you when you come home from the office.

Dogs love the routine. If you alter their routine for 5-6 days, they will be engage to a new routine. For example, if you feed them on 5 AM they will alert you when the time is near, but now you want to change their feeding time, feed them on 7 AM for 6-7 days, then they will alert you on that time.

Dog in front of Mirror

Where the dog uses that sense of time

That dog’s power of sensing time is beneficial both for dog and owner. They can sense when you will come home and when you will go, when they get food and when exercise.

That dog’s sense allow him to know what is going to happen next, and he prepares himself according to the situation.


Finally, we have to accept that dogs can sense the time, but their methods of sensing are much different than human beings. Dogs sense time by smell, habits, biological clocks etc. Dogs must be trained to enhance their this power. What do you think? Let us know in comments

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