Have you ever found yourself leaving for work and when you return find your dog waiting in anticipation at the window of your home or peeking through the gate?
You may find yourself wondering how it knows that you are arriving at that particular time.
According to The Wildest – a website focused on all things pet parenting -the answer is simple. Dogs can tell time. Although a lot different from the way that humans do it, dogs have a sixth sense that allows them to know your estimated time of arrival way in advance.
Alexandra Horowitz wrote a book titled Being a Dog, it is in this book that she gives more clarification on this phenomenon.
According to the author dogs have the ability to tell time, and this is how they know when their owner will be home. The way that they achieve this is by using two techniques, the first is by using their sense of smell, and the other by getting used to our routines.
Although they do not physically tell time the same way as humans does, “it might be that the odors that we leave around the house when we leave lessen in a consistent amount each day,” writes Alexandra.
What this means is that when we leave the house our bodies produce a strong scent or odor, and as we leave the house that smell lessens as each hour passes by. Due to a dog’s teachable nature, they become used to the routine of that smell lessening to the point that it returns stronger when you arrive home.
The second way that they achieve this is by picking up on environmental shifts and body language.
“They’re very good at picking up on subtle cues like reading body language, changes in the environment, and listening to sounds. Not just your own signals, but maybe the sound of a neighbor’s car that starts up a few minutes before you arrive home,” writes the pet parenting publication.
Arriving home at the same time in the same manner every day does help your dog figure out when you’re arriving. For example, if you are used to arriving home at a particular time with a particular car, your dog will be triggered every time it hears that particular sound.