View Full Version : How do Dogs know the time?

15th Sep 2008, 02:10
This may have been covered before, however I ask the above question, how the hell do dogs know the time?

Example, our two, Wigs and Wags (names changed to protect the guilty) sleep downstairs, with a gate placed to prevent them coming upstairs "uninvited"

My darling wife has her alarm set at 06:39 each weekday morning, so at 6:40 she can listen to "Your Guide to the Day" or whatever its called.

At 06:38 exactly each morning you can hear the collars rattle as Wigs and Wags have a shake as they get out of thier basket, and if the gate is not open by 06:41 the "gentle" reminders will start, to let us know they are yet to be upstairs with us.

Now the argument can be that perhaps they hear the radio when it comes on, and that is thier cue. However...............

on the weekends, when the alarm is off, the same thing happens. Exactly at 06:39 they are up, and at 06:40 they are waiting to be allowed upstairs.

How the hell do they know what the time is???:)

15th Sep 2008, 02:55
How the hell do they know what the time is???

Idiot! It's quite simple. They're watch dogs. :ok:

Um... lifting...
15th Sep 2008, 05:46
Well, with that kind of precision day after day, I'd say one is a watch dog and the other is a setter.

15th Sep 2008, 05:47
That's funny! :ok:

15th Sep 2008, 05:51
You guys break me up :}

I wonder if someone down the street hasn't got an alarm set that the dogs can hear but you can't.

Amazing how good their hearing is.

Howard Hughes
15th Sep 2008, 06:33
My dog seems to know when it is 6pm (his feeding time), not 5-58, not 6-02 but 6pm! Funny thing is when we go to daylight saving his clock changes instantly!:eek:

Buster Hyman
15th Sep 2008, 06:38
Maybe the milkman gives them a pat as he's leaving?:confused:

15th Sep 2008, 06:45
You seriously believe the milkman can keep time that well? Better than a DOG? ;)

15th Sep 2008, 06:56
If they're anything like mine, they just look at their Rolex!

15th Sep 2008, 08:02
My dog usually just licks his Rolex.

15th Sep 2008, 09:01
Watch dogs! Brilliant! You'll know they really know the score when they know it's weekends and sleep in! It happens. I had dogs that knew to lie-in at weekends.

Have you got any chiming clocks? I'm not saying they count, but they may know from duration of chimes and getting the right 'feeling'.

15th Sep 2008, 09:08
No..no chiming clocks, I am wondering about clocks next door however. There may be something in that!:ok:

Pontius Navigator
15th Sep 2008, 09:09
Mine, even if it has had a walk at 8pm is tapping its watch at 10 to 9 every night ready to collect Mrs PN from work.

Mind you Tuesdays and Thursdays she reacts to a certain programme signature tune. Unfortunately she can't count to 4.

15th Sep 2008, 09:13
My dogs just the same particularly with feeding times. They also when I worked seem to know and understand my shift times, if i came home normal time there the would be by the front door tales a wagging, if I came home early they would be quite shocked by my arrival and would often be fast asleep.

15th Sep 2008, 09:28
They just look at the bloody clock on the living room wall. :}

Windy Militant
15th Sep 2008, 10:41
My Mums sheep seeker watches for the postman behind the door every day except Sundays, when she stays in her basket.

tony draper
15th Sep 2008, 11:01
Yer hounds situational awareness exceeds that of humans a thousand fold,they miss nothing,a slight shift in body language a change in voice tone and yer pooch can extrapolate a hundred facts from same and predict the outcome,
"Ah! he looked at his tab packet, and raised his right eyebrow,he's going down to the corner shop for ciggies,hmmm might be a pepperami in this for me and I shall get to bark at that moggie at number three"

15th Sep 2008, 11:07
Sometimes I would be sitting in an armchair reading a newspaper, holding it up and covering my face from the dogs lying in the sitting room. A thought would enter my head, with absolutely no movement on my part: 'shall I take the dogs for a walk?'. Immediately, the dogs would leap up and start bouncing around in excitement. It happened time and time again- all 3 together. Strangest thing. I am a complete cynic with so much alleged 'spiritual' stuff, but I have no explanation for that at all. Also I get freaked out by thinking about someone I know in a communication context to have them text me within 5 minutes.

Big Tudor
15th Sep 2008, 11:11
One of the hounds had a bladder alarm that went off at 7:30 am every day. Better than any alarm clock. Absolute killer when one had a hangover. :uhoh:

Sadly that hound went to the great playing field in the sky yesterday. Sorry to put a damper on things but the Tudor household has a large cloud over it this morning. :{

15th Sep 2008, 11:49
My late father's Corgi/Fox Terrier/Alsation cross (Accidently named after a Belgian VOR - Not Costa) wakes me up every morning - with a "Get Up" call at exactly 6.45 AM - like some of your other contributors - the wake up calls become politely more incessant if not responded to - I'm in agreement with the learn'd response to perhaps a neigbour's Radio/Alarm Etc. but explain the "Lamp Check" of the Garden every Evening before bed. PS Some animals can hear you "sub Vocalising" talking to yourself under your breath. We had a Budgie who would respond in this way.


15th Sep 2008, 13:07
Had a fox-terrier when I flew in Africa.

Then security wasn't the huge issue it is today and I lived with fellow-pilots in an old hangar. When I was out committing aviation the mutt would wander the airfield. How the hell did he know which aircraft to come bounding up to in delight as it taxiied in to the pumps, considering that I'd be flying different reg's and different types from day to day?

And no, he didn't identify me by my hard landings :\

15th Sep 2008, 13:12
Just had a thought - maybe our dogs simply amplify some of what even us humans can do, as per what Drapes was saying?

Many, many times I've gone to sleep with an important day ahead and having fixed my wake-up time in my head, say 6:30, as well as setting the alarm - only to awake a minute or so ahead of the alarm going off! Surely some of you have experienced this too!

15th Sep 2008, 13:16
Many, many times I've gone to sleep with an important day ahead and having fixed my wake-up time in my head, say 6:30, as well as setting the alarm - only to awake a minute or so ahead of the alarm going off! Surely some of you have experienced this too!

All the time! Most every shift and if we've to be somewhere, early morning flight I always wake up early before the alarm.

Howard Hughes
15th Sep 2008, 13:41
And no, he didn't identify me by my hard landings
Must have been the smell then!;)

15th Sep 2008, 13:58
Possibly your mates never told you he greeted every arriving aircraft the same way?!;)

Was once told that dogs have a form of ESP, they can sense the 'vibes' between people and if someone comes to see you and they sense you don't like them they will not stop growling until the person(s) is gone, seen it happen twice with my dogs, Basset Hounds and normally very amiable creatures. Chance are the dogs are tuned in to YOUR early morning arousing, the roll over and creaking bed, the muffled fart, stuff like that?

15th Sep 2008, 14:10
Less of the 'muffled'! Are you saying it's all down to the sound of the Queen Mary coming into harbour?

15th Sep 2008, 15:20
Brilliant thread:ok:

Roared with laughter at some of the posts:D

Don't have a dog:{

My father has never used an alarm clock in his life, as he falls a sleep he just thinks of a time he'd like to wake up next morning and as if by magic it works everytime, amazing!

Buster Hyman
15th Sep 2008, 15:25
BladePilot...My very own "Walking Fossil" does the exact same thing! Uncanny...if not a little disturbing...mind you, as brilliant as that is, when he walks past a running Microwave oven, he pisses his pants & forgets who he is for half an hour...:bored:

15th Sep 2008, 15:28
Our old dog always knew when Mrs G was returning with shopping. Would wait in the hall going from one foot to the other with impatience.Then she'd start getting really excited and minutes later Mrs G would drive into the driveway. I used it as a cue to put the kettle on, hoping to earn the odd brownie point!
A most enlightening thread, bringing back happy memories of a good friend

15th Sep 2008, 16:16
I'm wondering about dogs and the time of day when one awakes or arrives home. Have any of you noticed any slight deviation of the dogs habits pertaining to the above when the clocks are advanced/turned back in summer/winter?


15th Sep 2008, 16:21
The old fella's dog always went mad when she heard the front gate opening, unless it was one of the family. How the hell did she know?

15th Sep 2008, 16:30
It's all to do with the squeak of the gate.....I kid you not. People of the family would open the gate with more speed causing a higher 'squeak' whereas a stranger calling/door to door salesman for example, opens the gate more slowly as to the unknown circumstances when entering a property. i.e. On the lookout for dogs in the garden.


Pontius Navigator
15th Sep 2008, 16:38
This one is easy. Used to come hom ein a flying suit, Mars bar in shin pocket. Dog would climb up, wag tail, turn round and dive into the pocket. Finding the Mars bar was not the trick, it was the technique.

Next dog, went absolutely ballistic when I drove a new diesel car into the garage. Another recognised my car but was absolutely dejected when brother in law got out.

15th Sep 2008, 17:14
Umm? Was the Mars bar unwrapped? Did you try placing the Mars bar (for curiosity) in another pocket? If so results please.


15th Sep 2008, 17:28
Sorry for the thread drift but it's not just Dogs. Here's the story: mate of mine asked me to babysit his place whilst he was away on hols for a couple of weeks (dodgy area) with small amount of cash in it for me. So I moved in.

Now my mate and his fam are 6.00 am risers every day of the year.

I knew their dog well and she knew me, so no news there BUT they had a Budgerigar which was (seriously) about 30 years old (or as old as they can be), it could only fly slowly and laboriously from the TV to the curtains and then only once in a while BUT it loved to play with the Dog. It would peck its nose and the dog would chase it around the carpet.

So I'm drinking my mates stock of scotch one night and because it was free I had too much. Of course I get the Budgerigar out in drunken stupor and me dog and bird have fun. Eventually I make my way to bed forgetting all about the putting the Budgerigar back in cage.

6.00 am next morning there is something pecking my nose and something licking my face. Twas bird and dog with a combined wake up call. How this ancient Budgerigar had flown up three flights of stairs and knew the time I don't know.

Unfortunately, it may have been too much because poor blighter died 3 weeks later.

The guilt.



15th Sep 2008, 17:39
Years ago, there was DC3 pilot, while taking the opportunity (cargo flight) he brought along a couple of his racing pigeons with the intention of freeing them in France (good training he thought) unfortunately while on the outbound flight that little arrow that tells one which direction to fly, ceased to operate.

A turnaround back to blighty was necessitated in these circumstances. Suspending one of his pigeons via fishing line tied to the f/d roof, the bird flapping wings, and pilot following the direction of said bird. Got the a/c back to UK.

I hear Boeing are looking into this old story, could save millions$$$$$$$



15th Sep 2008, 18:36
Through the years, we've not given the animal kingdom much credence for intellect and I think the so called 'experts' have been proven wrong.

We had a standard poodle that went to the door and window looking for my husband (ex) when he was still 2-3 minutes away in the car. And he did not come home with any kind of regular schedule!

I've seen documentaries where they've discussed the keen sense of smell and hearing that dogs have--which includes the intuion/chemicals put out by humans regarding fear, anger, excitement. Add to that their own internal clock and voila, a dog that has a few ways to detect when to expect their 'people', to be reinforced by the keen smell and hearing as they arrival ensues. Amazing creatures!

15th Sep 2008, 18:41
An old border collie of mine used to rush to the front door excitedly and wait for me to arrive home. I used to drive home at very odd hours. We worked out that I must have been over half a mile from home on most occasions when the excitement started. The engine wasn't that noisy!

However, to digress a little; when around 10 to 14 years of age, I was taken annually by my parents some 301 miles in a northerly direction where I was then ordered to enjoy my 6 week summer holidays with my grandmother and great-aunt - Oh joy. On one occasion, our cat turned up 2 days before we were to return home. She'd never been to that part of the country in her life before. That was more than a little strange. Baffled to this day!:\

15th Sep 2008, 19:26
You hadn't had a bath for 6 weeks lad!

lazy george
15th Sep 2008, 19:55
The missus says the Dog can tell my van coming down the road but if any other transits go past she dosn't bother.

Now try working this one out.....I got our pooch from 6weeks old where she was born n bred and spent the first 6 weeks of her life in a kennel on a farm. Now i have never had a door bell as long as ive had her but when she hears a doorbell go on the TV she goes mental barking at the front door!

How the **** does she tie the 2 together??

Oh and an old dog of mine when i were a kid new that when the neighbours theme tune played that my mum was due home from work , but not when it came on only going off!

15th Sep 2008, 22:24
We had a standard poodle that went to the door and window looking for my husband (ex) when he was still 2-3 minutes away in the car. And he did not come home with any kind of regular schedule!

Interesting, about the poodle. In the days before she had a telephone installed in the house, my mother used to put the kettle on whenever her miniature poodle jumped up on an armchair and sat on the lounge window sill.

Somehow the dog always knew I was about 20 minutes away in my car. Over thirty years ago now, still miss them both. :O

15th Sep 2008, 22:38
When I still lived at home, my mother's beagle knew when her car had turn into the neighbouring village before ours. It was enough time to make a cup of tea, set the tab;e and pretend I was doing my homework.

Mind you, the car was Daf 55 so sounded like a spin-drier full of teaspoons.



15th Sep 2008, 22:53
A Daf, eh? What did the dog do?

Hide in his basket with his paws on his ears, in shame? :E

15th Sep 2008, 22:55
I'm still marvelling at 'The Grim Reaper Dog', shown on TV, that knows when people in the old folk's home are going to die.

15th Sep 2008, 23:21
Hide in his basket with his paws on his ears, in sham
She would salivate profusely and strip the varnish off the parquet floor! Besides, me Da had a Morris Ital so which would you rather be seen dead in?! :}

As far as my cats are concerned, as soon as they hear my car and I walk in through the gate, that's a signal to be fed, even if I've just popped out to the shops.



16th Sep 2008, 00:26
Look, dog's can't read watches. So Idiot phones up the speaking clock, it's on speed dial, then hits the other button to put it on speakerphone...

'At the third stroke it will be BED! NOW! BED! BAD DOG!... beep...beep...beeep'

16th Sep 2008, 00:33
Wonder if you changed her name to Brilliant, if you get different results?

16th Sep 2008, 01:19
Nah, that would just cause confusion all round. Anyway, she sort of gets called brilliant quite a bit too.
'Here you, come back, no, don't just wander of into the distance. Oh BRILLIANT.'

16th Sep 2008, 01:49
So, you both kind of resemble each other, eh, Foss? ;)

And I have great admiration for Idiot. She's surprises with brains when you least expect it. Much like me self!!:p

16th Sep 2008, 03:03
Rainboe: 'You hadn't had a bath for 6 weeks lad!'

How dare you Sir! I'll have you know that I was forced into at least 2 baths during those 6 weeks! Now, as an 11 or 12 year old at the time, I found that somewhat stressful!
I'm better now though :}.

16th Sep 2008, 04:20
My dog knows when we are just about to fall asleep because that is when he starts barking his @!%#@!# head off!

He can be dead quiet all day, but as soon as we lay our heads down to sleep,


I have to say though it has improved my rock throwing skills immeasurably...:E

17th Sep 2008, 09:56
What a chuckle! started the day with a laugh after reading the latest posts great thread!

still don't have a dog:{


I have an amazing cat who can tell the difference between the sounds made by a can of sweetcorn (beans, peas, soup, whatever) or can of Tuna being opened. She can be 'asleep' in her snug upstairs in the airing cupboard but instantly recognise when her fav snack Tuna is being prepared and magically appear at my side in the kitchen. She only appears when the Tuna is opened, we could stand there all day opening other tins and she'd never react.

18th Sep 2008, 03:19
Blade Pilot..dear sir...in case you haven't heard this before, be careful giving tuna with ANY frequency to your cat. It's so high in certain proteins that are difficult for the organs of felines, that it's bad for their kidneys and over all health.

I've learned the hard way and I only offered it once and a while. :{


18th Sep 2008, 05:32
I had a boxer that went to doggy lessons every Sunday morning at 0800. He would be at the back door only on a Sunday with his lead at 0800 sharp.
I could not work out how he knew it was Sunday until I discovered that my wife had put a calender with all the Sundays circled in his kennel. Not so smart after all.

18th Sep 2008, 10:53
Tks for the concern. My cat only gets Tuna once in a while as a rare treat. Which makes it all the more interesting that she can tell the difference between can opening noises!


18th Sep 2008, 15:53
I have a Lab and a Westie.......both of them know the time....they often nudge me at 1700, to remind me it's feeding time.....never before 1700 but if it goes to 1705....they let you know......oh and they go to the window everyday just as my daughter turns in the drive.....