Have you ever wondered if dogs can tell time?

Daisy, our 13-year old basset hound mix, suddenly pulled my arm taught, jolting me into the present.  She’d found the treasure her nose told her was there!

This frequently happens on walks.  Unlike me, Daisy isn’t thinking about the treat she’ll get at the end of the Daisy and Birdie walking on wet pavement, with faces close to the camera.walk.  Nope, Daisy lives in the moment.

Elizabeth, our CEO, recently shared an article with the team about how we create stress based on how we perceive time.  The message, common in today’s world, is to stay in the present moment.

“Disharmony proliferates when we perpetually project our consciousness out of the present, and into the past or future,” – Stevie P.

It goes on to ask if there is any time other than the present.  So I asked Daisy, can dogs tell time? She gave me a look that the question was ludicrous.  Sure, she understands some patterns, like when it’s time for dinner and to go for a walk, but this understanding comes from what’s happening in the moment.

“…canines are equipped with a natural instinct to live in the moment, despite having an understanding of the concept of time,” – Animal Planet

Dogs may understand the concept of time, but not exactly the way that we do. People think of time as an abstract concept, maybe even an illusion.  For a dog, evidence indicates that scent is a key to their concept of time.

In the video below, we see how a dog leverages his sense of smell to gauge elapsed time.  The study suggests that as the scent of the owner fades to a certain point, the dog can know when his owner is coming home.

By paying close attention to the details of the present, and applying the patterns of the past, the dog gains insight into the possibilities of what might occur next.

Whether using scent or abstract concepts, the results are similar – when we’re in the present.  Unfortunately, we can find ourselves lost in the past, and as a startup, spending a lot of time thinking about the future.  Yet the present is the only place we can act.  It’s the only opportunity we have to contribute.

“The present is your place of power.” – Stevie P.

As I look back at Daisy, she’s rolling around on her back with a big smile on her face.  Her treasure, a worm that didn’t survive the night, offers a scent that she finds divine.  Jumping to her feet, it’s not long before she’s off to find the rabbit that must have passed this patch of grass.

The present is where we create our memories and understand the world.  It’s where we contribute.  If we’re not there, we won’t find our rabbits!

We’d love to hear from you.  Can dogs tell time? Do you think your dog understands time?  What tips do you have to stay in the present?