How to Train a Dog To Tell the Time!

by Brigitte Smith on July 21, 2007

 
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Okay, I admit it – I’m not going to teach you how to train a dog to tell the time. The fact is your dog probably already can!

How to Train a DogMost non-dog owners would never believe that dogs can tell the time. I suppose it’s not one of the types of dog behaviors you’d necessarily expect to find in a dog.

But they can! And it’s innate – you don’t even have to find out how to train a dog to tell the time – he’ll do it naturally!

Of course, our dogs know our routines like when we’re due to leave the house, when they’re likely to go for a walk, be fed, etc. But that’s probably just habit. The dog gets used to the sequence of you putting your shoes on, picking up your keys and heading to the door – that sort of thing.

Many dogs, however, really can tell the time.

When I was a child we had an adorable black toy poodle called Candy. My sisters and brother and I used to come home from school in two stages – the little ones at 3.15 p.m. and the older ones at around 4.00 p.m.

And who do you think would trot outside at 3.10 p.m. and again at 3.55 p.m., and wait at the top of the driveway until we arrived and greeted her? Yes, that smart little dog who could obviously tell the time!

One of my Healthy Happy Dogs newsletter readers, Roger Najarian, from Las Vegas, Nevada, sent me in the following story about another dog that could tell the time. Here’s Roger’s story:

” I remember my mother telling me about the dog she and her sisters had as a child. I believe she said it was a german shepherd. Anyway, this dog (Mickey was his name) would walk the girls to school in the morning and stayed with them, and enjoyed the attention of all the other kids at the playground, until the bell rang and the kids went inside.

Mickey then would return home. The school was almost a mile from their house.

School was let out at 3:30 in the afternoon. Every day, without fail, Mickey, no matter what he was doing, and that included sleeping, would get up at 3:10 and walk down to my mother’s school. He would sit patiently at the schoolyard gate, until my mother finally came out. Of all 9 children in my mother’s family, Mickey’s favorite was my mother.

They would all walk home together and enjoyed this time ritual for several years. He only did this on school days. He knew the difference.

So, if anyone ever says, dogs can not tell time, tell them about Mickey. It wasn’t a once or twice thing, this went on for years.

I will always remember my mother telling me this (on more than one occasion). I’ve remembered it for nearly 50 years now, and even today, it brings a smile to me. I pass this on to you now, and hope that you share it with others. I hope it brings a smile to you. its so amazing, when you think about it.

Some people, I’m sure, may not believe it, but if you knew my mother, you would know that the story was 100% truth (she was not one who would embelish a story, or make it a little bigger than what it really was).

Please share this with your readers. I hope that a few will remember it, and tell it to others. Knowing that what this amazing dog did, will live on further, makes me very happy.

My very best to you, and your dogs (family).
-Roger ”

I’m sure your dog can tell the time, too – it’s only people who don’t have dogs who don’t believe this!

Leave your “my dog can tell the time” story in the comments below!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonna July 21, 2007 at 9:47 am

My best buddy, Quincy, a Bassett-Beagle mix, definitely knows the time. Every day, he goes to a front window about 10-15 minutes before each of us is due to arrive home from work, and sits until he sees us come up the steps to our townhouse. He then runs to the door and jumps up and down when we enter as though we’ve been gone for years! The kitchen is in the front of the house, and we have placed a chair next to the window so Quincy can climb up and watch for us. (Since he is a short little guy.) He does this every weekday, without fail, at the same times. I’ve theorized that it is the position of the sun, or the level of daylight on cloudy days. Nonetheless, it is a truly amazing to witness his daily routine.

2 fabienne therrien July 22, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Of course, dogs can tell time. I own 5 dogs and each one of them can tell the time. Bandit knows when it is time for bed, he nose butts me if I am being late. This only happens on the days I have to work. Trixie knows when its time to get up. She bugs me when I just lay there. Again this only happens when I have to work. My days off, she lets me sleep. Coco-Puffs waits for me in the front yard till I get off work. This too only happens when I’m coming home from work. If I’m gone just visiting or grocery shopping, he doesn’t wait for me. The “Budweiser” waits patiently at the foot of the stairs for my husband to come down. He does this a few minutes before noon. My husband works midnights. He usually sleeps for 4 hours, then gets up for 8 hours and goes back to bed for a couple of hours before he goes back to work. And the “Budweiser” is waiting again at 10 p.m. And then there’s Tasha, the mom of all these brats, she knows when it’s time for her canned food everyday. Yes, they can tell time. Don’t know if that’s always a good thing, but it is cute.

3 Brigitte Smith July 23, 2007 at 8:11 am

Thanks for your stories, Jonna and Fabienne.

Yes, it’s amazing how dogs really do know the time, isn’t it?

And Fabienne, it’s intriguing that each of your dogs has a different “party trick” in relation to telling the time! Fascinating.

Regards,
Brigitte

4 Carol April 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

Hi Bridgette,

I read a book years ago that I can’t find. It was a study done on pets knowing when their owners were coming home. Their findings were that the dogs and cats didn’t tell time, but had a psychic connection to their owners.

They had people at home and people in the field. A dog would go to the door and then retreat to their bed, so the person at home would call the subject. They would find out different things, like, I was coming home and forgot I needed to go to the store.

A time later, the dog would get up again and go to the door and within a short time the owner would show up. Sometimes the person would call as soon as the dog went to the door and the owner would say, I just finished shopping and was thinking I could go home now.

They are assuming the dog psychically saw the pictures in their owners minds rather than were telling time.

Pretty interesting. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the book.

Carol

5 Brigitte Smith April 2, 2009 at 2:01 am

Hi Carol,

Wow, that is absolutely amazing! So interesting.

If anyone else knows anything about where we can see the results of this study, I’d be really interested to know.

It makes sense, though!

Regards,
Brigitte

6 Debbie February 1, 2012 at 4:03 am

Hey Brigitte,

All dogs are smart, smarter than most people, and are non-judgmental, they love you unconditionally. Both of mine, Shorty, and Gyp know that when they have to have their baths, and I tell them we are going to travel the next day, they are ready. They go straight downstairs in the morning, and get ready to have their harnesses put on and then go and wait at the car for the doors to be opened.

We have missed out on a lot of traveling, if it was not dog friendly. There has been only a week they were boarded with a friend when we had to go to Idaho for a funeral. Usually one of us is home with them, or they go with us. We do craft shows on the weekends, and they spend a lot of time by themselves, but think the moon has landed on the house when we get home.

I think they love us more because we interact with them on a daily basis. When we go in the yard, or up to the shop, they go with us. When I come back to the house, here they come. Of course not everyone has the time or inclination to consider their pets as true kids. As I said before, both of mine are very attentive, in their different ways. Gyp wants to be the center of attention, and listen to every word, very serious puppy. Short he will listen, but does not want you to breathe on him all the time, only when he wants you to. He has a short attention span.

Being here in east Texas where the family tree is in a straight line, dogs are very deffinitely smarter than most people. Hope you and your family, and all the kids are well. I do not usually get to interact with anyone else who treats their pets as family.

Thanks for listening. Debbie

7 Brigitte Smith February 1, 2012 at 7:12 am

Hey Debbie,

Thanks for stopping by again.

For those of you who haven’t caught up on the history of Debbie’s dogs Shorty and Gypsy, click here – you’ll love her story!

Regards,
Brigitte

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