Do Dogs Remember People? | Fun Facts About Dog’s Memory With Their Hooman

Do dogs remember people? Does your dog remember you from one day to the next, even if you haven’t seen him/her for a few months? This is a question that has been asked by many dog owners. Can dogs really recognize humans they have had interactions with?

Quick answer: Yes, dogs can easily remember people if they have shared good moments or if they have sniffed their body scent. This is the most common way that dogs use to remember someone or something. 

Dogs And Associative Memory

Dogs have associative memory and can register emotions, people, or other objects based on their association with the events. So how does it work? Find out more about dogs’ associative memory here!

What is associative memory?

Unlike humans, dogs don’t really recall things in their true nature. For example, a human can remember the events during a Christmas party or the weather when they were taking a walk in the suburb. Dogs may accompany their humans on these occasions, but they can’t remember or recall things, events, or objects directly. So, for example, if we mention Christmas parties, they won’t be able to recall the event as a whole.

Dogs And Associative Memory
Dogs And Associative Memory

Instead, dogs have associative memory, which means they can recall emotions, objects, or activities depending on how these things associate with places, sounds, or even other objects.

What can a dog remember?

For example, when you pick up a tennis ball, the dog will start entering catching mode because he associates the tennis ball with playing catch. That’s how he remembers and knows when it’s time to play catch.

Or, when you stomp your feet, your dog knows that you are angry because he associates the actions with your anger, which you have expressed before. That’s how he remembers “mom/dad is angry.”

How long can dogs remember someone or something?

We believe that dogs have long-term memory from how they remember things and how they can recall them. Many occasions in real life have proven that they can recall things that happened long ago, as long as they can associate the memory with something less complicated.

For example, dogs don’t vividly remember how someone abused them. But suppose a stranger approaches them in an unfriendly or loud manner. In that case, this can quickly trigger the dogs’ negative emotions and defensive attitudes. This is the same thing that they do in the past. So it’s undeniable that they remember the events in the long term.

Do dogs use scent to store memories?

Yes, dogs use scent to save a “memory” in their brains, and if they smell the same thing again, they can react according to how the scent affected them the first time. Suppose your dog is happy when he smells the rain, someone, or other dogs. In that case, it means that he remembers something positive about the object and can recall the good memory.

Dogs use scents to remember many things
Dogs use scents to remember many things

Do Dogs Remember People?

A dog is able to remember someone forever! The memories are in their brains and are correlated to how the person affected them. Dogs may not be able to recall any specific incident. However, it will associate every sound, movement, and smell with objects, emotions, places, and people. Find out more here!

Does my dog remember me?

If you have raised it for a long time, your dog will never forget you. It can associate you with many activities, smells, and emotions. So, they can remember you even if you haven’t met them for a long period.

Many real-life cases prove this. When someone comes back from a long military service, their dog will take a bit of time to sniff, but he/she will remember them right away thanks to the association with the smell.

Does my dog remember someone they met briefly?

Yes, he/she can. As long as he/she has associated some elements with the person, he/she can remember them when they meet again.

Can My Dog Forget Me?

Your dog will always remember you even after five or many more years, even if your hair is longer than it used to be or if you have an edgy beard. This won’t be a problem even if you wear entirely different clothing. Your dog will surely remember you!

It’s not entirely how you look but how you smell which helps your dog to recognize you as a person. It doesn’t matter that you cover up your body’s scent since dogs have excellent noses and can detect your natural smell, which they are familiar with.

How To Train A Dog’s Memory

To train a dog’s memory, try to associate whatever memory that you are trying to build with smells or foods. These are the easiest ways to make your dog remember something. Many dog trainers have used treats to improve a dog’s memory.

For example, a dog can remember having to sit when his owner says so and give him a treat. The police also have successfully trained dogs’ memory and skill to recognize the smell of drugs.


How can I stop a dog from barking?

The best way to stop a dog from barking is to train him not to. Most dogs are very smart, so they will understand that they shouldn’t bark. You can shoosh him when he barks to signal that it’s not okay to bark in this event.

Can dogs really smell fear?

No, dogs can’t smell fear. But, if you’re afraid of something, the dog will pick up on that and act accordingly. Your body language is more than enough to signal the dog if you are in danger or not.

How do I know if my dog is remembering something?

You can tell if your dog remembers something by seeing if he or she reacts when you bring something up. For example, if your dog starts to wag his tail or if his ears point up, he remembers something.

What’s the best way to teach a dog to be obedient?

You should start with a young puppy and gradually teach it to obey you. It is essential to treat your dog for good behavior.

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