Login/Sign Up




Do dogs have the capacity to remember
Philosophy

stephie
Apr 27, 2007
23 votes
14 debaters
1
1
1
1
1


+ Add Argument

23
Dogs have the capacity for remembering people, places and objects


dereksemeraro
Apr 27, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Over what period of time? Some do.

 
amoania
Apr 27, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
dogs, well, some dogs, definitely remember things. my friends dog, tucker, can bring you exactly which toy you ask for. you can tell him to bring his: duck, hamburger, squishy, bone or chew, and he'll bring each of them when asked for. he rarely goofs, and if you ask him for something he hasn't played with in awhile, he will look all over the house to bring you what you asked for. i don't think that's a learned behaviour. that's him remembering which toy is which.

 
gogopoet
Apr 27, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
If they had no memory, you'ld not have them under your feet at feeding time without some direct cue that food might be delivered.

 
silverfire
Apr 27, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Dogs definately can remember, if nothing else, people. Any dog I know can remember it's owner, or people in it's own family. They can also remember people that have mistreated them or treated them especially well. Dogs have a very keen sense of smell, and mostly likely remember and identify things through their smell.

 
stephie
Apr 27, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
The popular assertion is that IF dogs have the capacity to remember, it is a short term capacity. If a dog has learned not to go to the bathroom in the house through the use of paper training or kenneling, this is often termed conditioning.
Perhaps in the example above, we are dealing with conditioning, not memory.
How do you explain this: A dog is brought up with a child who leaves the home to go to college. The child returns home after being away for six months. The dog's reaction to this person entering the home is frenzied, lasts for quite a bit of time and is marked by whining and a significant sow of affection. These behaviors are not observed when a family member returns after being away for an hour or two. In fact the dog shows little if any enthusiasm in this instance. The dog is equally indifferent when introduced to a stranger.

 
manax
Apr 30, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Of course they do! You have to be an absolout idiot to think otherwise. If you've ever owned a dog, you know.

 
gogopoet
Apr 30, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: tggdan3 Show

RE: "Why do you think you have to punish a dog IMMEDIATELY after it does the crime? You can't bring it garbage that it tore up 6 hours ago and expect it to know what it did. "

The fallacy of this arguement is that you are equating the inability of the dog to logically connect the garbage and whatever sanction is being meted out with memory. The dog might remember the garbage in great detail, yet fail to comprehend the relationship that memory has with the current circumstances. The immediacy is required for the dog to recognize a relationship.

RE: "Why does a dog get just as excited when you come home after 5 mintutes as he does when you come home after 8 hours? He doesn't know how long it was- just that you came home."

It is not necessary for a dog to accurately process the passage of time in order to remember its master and become excited when he or she makes an appearance. Other cues are very likely involved. The important point is that the dog remembers its master.

I won't argue about how long a dog's memory is retained because I don't know. I just want to point out that in debating brain functions it is very difficult to tease one action out of a process and demonstrate a capacity for one function or another, although it can be done.

For example, I can look out my window and tell you with absolute confidence I am looking precisely SW. I can tell this because I remember reading that information, not because I have a great sense of direction. I lost most of that as a result of a stroke.

 
gogopoet
Apr 30, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: tggdan3 Show

We can use the dog's behavior as an indicator of memory, but we have to very careful to rule out other contributing factors when we set up an arguement.

One example might be that dogs may challenge the authority of a higher ranking member of its pack, but otherwise responds to all members of the pack based on its rank/status. Unless dogs give off some sort of cues about their rank that we are unaware of, it stands to reason that they have to remember not only their rank, but the rank of all the other members of its pack.

 
drayzdogs
Dec 02, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: stephie Show

Dogs most assuredly have the capacity to remember. It has been documented in a number of studies that dogs store every smell they encounter and this is how they derive a large portion of memory of people, other dogs’ places etc. This is why they love to smell, it is a big part of their mental stimulation and communication with other dogs and people to a certain extent, this is why they smell us when we meet.

As for the other assertions that dogs “know” what toy to get and if they remember to sit and wait at the front door when you ask them. Consider distractions as a factor when they are having trouble, not that they forgot or are stupid. Perhaps they are distracted or what you are asking has not “paid” off in the past so why should they do it. Many things we ask of our dogs is expensive behavior to them, maybe we think it is easy, however they have a different take on what they find easy. When they are getting it right perhaps they are keen and they are doing the activity because we’ve done it with them a number of times. Dogs are great discriminators; they only generalize well with fear based issues.

With regards to “punishments” let me say that it is consequence that drives behavior. Punishments do not have to be severely harsh or painful to be effective. It is the consequence that will drive the behavior and if you punish too severely you may cause some damage to the dogs psyche. This is how many dogs develop phobias; they have been hammered on repeatedly, either verbally or worse.

The gentleman who said that punishments or shall we say feedback to the dog has to be done immediately on the heals of the bad behavior or the good behavior for the conditioning to stick is correct. Dogs live in the moment, and they will not connect the garbage dissection of 12 noon to the 6pm reprimand, all that will happen is at 6pm the dog will feel unsafe, because the human is acting irrationally. This is the dogs take on it. This is where you get the “he knows he is bad” mentality. What the dog has learned is that sometimes when the humans come home they get mad. The dog learns it is safe when the humans are not around, so it goes potty or gets into the garbage etc...

However if you catch the dog in the act you could interrupt and put him into his crate for a good spell. The dog will then equate getting into the garbage results in a time out. The sooner we can give the dog feedback about good or unwanted behaviors the better we can train the dog to “remember”. It is consequence that drives behavior, not the sound of our voice no matter how authoritative. Then remember to manage your dog and do not let the dog get into the trouble in the first place.




__________________________________________
Drayton Michaels, CTC
Urban Dawgs, LLC DBA Pit Bull Guru
E-Mail: drayton@urbandawgs.com
http://www.urbandawgs.com
http://www.pitbullguru.com
Certified, Licensed, and Insured


 
pitbullmommy
Feb 15, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Dogs can remember things. On a side note though, dogs do not generalize. Meaning I can teach you sign language at your house and you can go every where and use it. Where as with dogs if I taught them to do a 1 minute stay with 50 feet distance at your house they couldn't not instanly perform that behavior at the park, without you doing a quick run through of the rules with them at the park.

 
melonchollylife
Feb 16, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
If you adopt a dog from the shelter (i know this from experience) they can often be paranoid at first, not knowing their surroundings. If the dog was abused, when you put your hand over it's head to pet it it flinches, thinking you're gonna hit it.
This is true with play toys like balls or ropes -- they remember it from their past and associate it with pain.
Five years after adopting my dog from an abusive owner, she'll still bite me if i put a bouncy-ball in her face.

 
annebonny
Oct 28, 2010
0 convinced
Rebuttal
I worked at a dog groomers for over two years and dogs can most definitely remember a lot. Dogs will remember which toe nail was cut short six months ago and flinch when you touch it. Dogs you haven't seen in over a year will come in and remember you. I have seen things like this hundreds of times so dogs can most definitly remember.

 
+ Add Argument

0
Dogs do not have the capacity for remembering people, places and objects


julesk
Apr 27, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Speaking as a pit-bull myself I can...oh, wait. I already posted this. Jeez, I forgot. See what I mean??

 
julesk
Apr 27, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Speaking as a pit-bull myself I can attest to the fact dogs cannot remember much - if anything. I only scored average on my SATs because I couldn't recall simple equations such as the area of a circle, square, and triangle.

I was only able to make a decent score on the test by terrorizing the kid next to me into letting me cheat off him.

 
brivapor
Apr 27, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
my dog knows how to count
i ask him what 2 plus 2 is and he woofs 5 times

 
julesk
Apr 27, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
The other side may win this debate but we have our self respect and butts to lick.

 
tggdan3
Apr 30, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Dogs learn through conditioning- it's different than memory. (Remember the movie momento?)

They remember that certain people, sounds and places evoke certain feelings.

Why do you think you have to punish a dog IMMEDIATELY after it does the crime? You can't bring it garbage that it tore up 6 hours ago and expect it to know what it did.

Why does a dog get just as excited when you come home after 5 mintutes as he does when you come home after 8 hours? He doesn't know how long it was- just that you came home.

They have some memory- but certainly not something that complex.

 
tggdan3
Apr 30, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

If we can't base our arguements on a dog's memory by the behavior of the dog, and we can't communicate with the dog, than this argument goes nowhere.



 
julesk
May 01, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Lighten up, Dan. You are way to gruuuuuuuff.

 
xxcommunistcatxx
May 10, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
are you honestly going into a deap debate about this, who the f**k cares its a dog.

 


Use these tags to find similiar debates

life philosophy religion abortion actions america animal animals atheism Atheist belief chicken Christianity Death debate deontology ethics evil evolution existence Faith freedom god good happiness happy hope human humanity Humans justice Kill knowledge law life logic Love meaning men mind morality morals murder peace people perception philosophy politics punishment reality religion rights science Sex Smart society suicide theism think time truth war world wrong