Your Dog Also Remembers All Those Good Times You’ve Had

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If you worry you're the only one who treasures the quality time you and your dog have spent playing fetch in the park or strolling around the city, we've got good news. A new study in Current Biology suggests that dogs' memories are better than we assumed. The researchers taught 17 dogs a trick called "Do as I Do," where they carry out an action themselves and then yell "Do it!" for the dog to copy them, Live Science reports. Then, they trained the dogs to lie down after someone performed another action. Later, when people yelled "Do it," the dogs copied the first things the humans did. They took these results to mean that dogs have episodic memory — memory for events, as opposed to information — even when they don't need to use that memory to get a treat. Not too many animals have this skill, though previous research has found that chimpanzees, orangutans, pigeons, and rats might. Lead author Claudia Fugazza told Seeker that the study also suggests that dogs remember things other people — not just they themselves — have done, even when "it may seem irrelevant for them." This ability "might be useful for a species living in a rich and complex environment where there is so much to discover, and their human companions can be considered as knowledgeable partners to learn from," she said. Another recent study in Science found that dogs' brains can distinguish between different words and tones of voice. So, your relationship with your dog isn't all in your head. They probably understand and remember you, too. Just don't hug them like a human. They don't like that.

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