"Do you think they remember me?" This is often the question when friends and family visit after a long absence. The answer is not always easy to see. Depending on the individual dog it can be difficult to see recognition. But if you know your dog's every tiny behavior; this means watching, always watching you will know if your dog remembers.
How does your dog greet people they have never met before? Often there is a huge difference between strangers and friends in a greeting; sometimes not. Sometimes there is one tiny little behavior that only you could recognize for recognition. Two of my dogs are like this; only the tiniest of behavior lets me know that they remember the visiting person.
Then there is Luke; Luke is a clear read because his behaviors are so large. That said his behavior vary drastically with dog people and non dog people as well. He is a very complicated boy but watching his behaviors are very educational. What I see in Luke is a pumped up version of what my girls display.
I believe dogs remember a whole lot better than we do. Dogs know people intimately by scent, not only by visual. Because Luke displays his emotions so largely I can learn a whole lot more from him; I love it. Luke knows alot of young men; my son is 18 and has a large ring of friends who come and go. When a large group come over Luke will very quickly find the one he has not met before. He pushes by all the known scent until he finds the new one.
Several years ago when my son was younger we had parents coming over more often. It was very interesting to see Luke act like he knew people that he had never met before. When it was a parent of my sons bestfriends there was an obvious recognition from Luke; "oh you belong to that guy." One quick smell and he felt like he already knew this person.
Did Tilley remember her breeder yesterday? She spent the first 8 weeks of her life with this woman. She met her again at about the age of 1 year and then there was a 10 year span. I believe she did; one sniff and Tilley allowed a hug, this is completely out of the ordinary for Tilley. She was not threatened in the least by the close proximity which is something I look for in Tilley's expression.
Like elephants; I believe a dog never forgets.