Have you ever noticed how dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to tell time? It’s funny how they just seem to know what time every day certain things are going to happen. There are many different theories about why this happens, but the truth is no one really knows for sure how it happens. The debate goes on about whether it’s simply because they get used to a routine, have a built-in circadian rhythm, or even some sort of sixth sense. Perhaps they are reacting to the stimuli of the environment? Do dogs really have some sort of internal clock?
At least in my house it seems my two dogs definitely have a pretty accurate built-in clock. They wake me up every morning between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. and expect to have their breakfast right away.
By 8:00 a.m. they are looking out the living room windows watching for the neighbor’s cat because every morning that cat will sit on top of the fence and tease them. I think it’s become quite the game that they are getting used to. The cat isn’t bothered in the least when my dogs are barking at him and going berserk, he just sits there calmly and he’s probably thinking “nah, nah, you can’t get me!”
I let them go out and run in the backyard until they feel like they’ve done their job of scaring the cat away, although the cat knows perfectly well they can’t get to him when he’s up on that six-foot-high block wall fence, so he takes his sweet time jumping off and going back into his own yard.
After that ordeal is over they are usually ready to come back inside and take a nap while I work on the computer for awhile. But by 11:00 a.m. they start pestering me to take them for a walk. If we don’t go walking by 11 they get very restless and start bugging me so I can’t get any more work done.
Who can resist those doggy eyes pleading with you. And maybe they know it’s time for “mom” to take a break. After all, working in front of the computer for too long isn’t good for a person anyway, and they know I can use the exercise just as much as they do. That’s why I call them my little personal trainers.
After a good, brisk 45-minute walk, where Cash has had to stop and pee on every garbage can and bush along the way, it’s time to come home and chill while mom has lunch. Then it’s time for a good, long afternoon nap. After all, dogs know how important sleep is, right?
My boys love to sleep all snuggled down and covered up with a soft, fluffy throw. Afternoons are great for napping several hours at a time.
And after a great nap they love to go outside and play. Sometimes they just like to play tag and chase each other around the yard, and other times there are toys involved.
I’ll bet your dog has a favorite toy, just like mine do. Cash has several favorites, but most of his toys are the kind without stuffing. That’s because he’s demolished every toy he’s ever had that came with stuffing. Even the stuffing-less ones sometimes get their eyes, ears or tails chewed off. But his favorite game is tug o’ war. He can play that for hours until he’s completely exhausted.
We usually play tug o’ war with his stuffing-less toys though, because when the rope tugs like the one in the picture, he ends up ripping them apart as well. He will meticulously pull each string apart and I don’t want him getting an intestinal blockage from all those strings, so we avoid this type of toy any more.
In the evening comes the time when I’m most convinced they have a built-in clock. Suppertime! They eat every night at 7:00 p.m. and if I’m even five minutes late, they definitely let me know. I guess I can’t blame them, though. I love my suppertime too and can get cranky if it’s late.
Finally, every night at 10:30 p.m. they get a “cookie.” That’s another time when I don’t dare be late.
So what do you think? Do dogs have a built-in clock or are they just creatures of habit? Seems to me that their internal clocks can be pretty accurate. The only thing that throws them off is Daylight Savings time. But that’s why I’m glad I live in Arizona, we don’t have to set our clocks here like everyone else does.