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Do dogs forget about their previous owners?

I used to have a dog 2 years ago, but because I was sent to study overseas, she was given to my dad's friend.
Now that I'm back here for the holidays, I plan to go visit her.
But I'm afraid that she might already have forgotten me.

What I want to ask is, do dogs forget about their previous owners?
Im sure some dogs do.... but not all. i used to hunt with my dog when she was a puppy, but ended up moving to town for 4 years so the hunting birds etc. stopped for that period. Then we bought a house out in the country. Not long after we moved in, i took the gun out just to adjust the scope, and our dog Bear instantly ran up beside me and sat down, staring in the direction i pointed the gun. She remembered exactly what to do despite it being so long. As soon as i would pull the trigger, she would tear into the bush to go find what i was shooting at.
Code of Ruin
I don't think so. I've seen dogs from previous owners react in a specific way when they encounter their former owners. They at least seem to remember them.
i think they do forget about their previous owners my friend had a dog and when he gave it away to his cousin...that was it he didnt recognize him any more after a few months
I've always been intimate with my dogs and they never forgot me. Some stupid homeless stole my dog last year and I couldn't find him for about 1,5 month but he was so happy when he saw me again. Lots of flees and stuff on him but it doesn't matter, I really like my dogs and they usually give that love back to me. Its and intimate relationship we have, Cool
Depends on how long you had the dog and if you guys were friends I might put it? Also depends if the dog is dumb or not Razz
I think that a dog's memory is quite similar to a human's memory. I don't remember anything that happened before I started preschool, I believe that a dog probably doesn't remember anything that happened when it was a puppy. However subconscious recognition is something totally different. I think that if something significant enough happened in your life no matter what age you were it will stick in your subconscious forever, I believe that this will also stick in a dog's subconscious as well. A dog has recognition, they have that spray that keeps the dog from jumping on you and basically keeps it in line or the shaker can, anyway after you use it a few times it will remember it doesn't like that so the next time you go to reprimand the dog all you have to do is show it the can and it will behave. However this conditioning can be extinguished if you do not keep it going long enough. So its a crap shoot as to whether your dog will recognize you, it depends on how long you had the dog prior to leaving it and how long its been since you last saw it.
Hi all,

I don't think dogs forget their previous owners. Of course it will depend on how well you treated and got on with your pet. Like if you mistreated your dog and it wasn't happy and it found a loving home then I think it just may forget the previous owner to some extent.

I believe that dogs even remember previous owners from previous lifetimes aswell so I really don't think that any dog on some level would forget there previous owner.

I once heard from a friend that a dog's memory bank recycles itself in a way after seven years, so theoretically it can forget its past owner(s). I once had to take care of a friend's dog under certain circumstances for a year; whenever my friend came to visit, the dog would do the most insane things. One time, the dog managed to free itself of its playpen by jumping until his rib cage hit the top bar; at that point, the dog just squirmed until he fell on the other side.
No way - especially if they were abusive (sad, I know). A couple strays that we've adopted in my life have very obviously had vivid memories of previous owners. One dog was terrified of the broom, most likely because she was beat with it. Another hated my dad for the longest time, probably because she was abused my a man. It took a long time for her to actually not mind him, and she never really warmed up to him. Dogs have good memories, albeit probably mostly instinctual, but they don't forget past deeds. I'll bet dogs also have positive associations as well, but they're usually harder to identify.
Duncan Idaho
Perhaps it depends on the breed. I didnt see my wolves for like a year, when I moved back the didnt seem to know me.
I think it really depends on a lot of factors. Such as how much you interacted with the dog. Be it negative or positive interaction, the more it occurs, the more vivid the memory will be. Also on such things as the breed of dog, the time apart, whether or not you saw or interacted with the dog at all when it wasn't living with you. Probably the new owner would have some influence as well, depending on how much they interact with the dog.

So really its hard to determine whether or not a dog would remember a previous owner.
as was said earlier, I do think some dogs do forget, but I belive for the most part they don't....unless of course you rid yourself of them as a puppy. Now cats on the other hand will go to where the food is and forget about thier previous owner totally.

Just my opinion.

(and no, I am not a cat hater)
Well, it depends on the age of the dog.I purchased my German Shepherd dog, Prince when it was five weeks old in 1999.Recently, I had the chance of meeting the previous owner but Prince did not recognise him at all.
On the contrary, he still recognises my previous driver and maid servant who had worked for us for quite some time.
They don't forget. Just yesterday my friend was telling me how her new puppy squeals everytime she sees her old owner. Then all of a sudden her aunt comes in (previous owner), and as soon as she heard her voice, the dog started squealing, it was pretty sight.
Don't worry.It will never forget especially if they were special signs or carresses that it was used to,then it can never forget.Or if they were a few tricks that you taught it.Just tell it to jump and it will.! Smile
I have heard it said that dogs have no concept of today is forever to them. When they see us come back's a joyous occasion for them (the food bringer cometh)....nice thought huh?
I really don't believe that about "a dog's memory bank recycles itself in a way after seven years". My dog is 15 years old and remembers tricks that I taught her when she was a 1 or 2 years old (I have gone years without asking her to do the tricks but she always remembers what to do). Also, she got hit accidentally by a golf club when she was a puppy and to this day will run if someone brings one near her. I think dogs have very good long memories.
It'll probably remember you. Smile
I think a dogs memory is a like a humans memory. you forget things that happened as a toddler. Although you might still remember fragaments of memory.
I think dogs remember their previous owners, but it would depend on the dog and the owner and the circumstances. we had a dog that I left with my parents when I went away to college. I used to go away for long periods of time and come back and it was all the same for him, but I had owned him from the time he was a puppy through age six or so, so of course he remembered me, even when I'd been gone for a year...
They do remember their previous owners, but they don't "think" of them day-to-day.
oh yeah, not much thinking was going on in that guy's brain:) I doubt he really missed me, although I'm sure he would have been traumatized if our family had given him up.
I would imagine dogs do remember past owners and are ready to bite the mean ones if they get a chance. My parents have a dog that can't wait to see me even after the 6 months they spend at their second home.
Kaseas wrote:
They do remember their previous owners, but they don't "think" of them day-to-day.

I agree that.

Our dogs have lived with us for a year now. Every time (couple of times) we've met their previous owners, they remember them and seems to be happy to see them.
just like there are dumb people and smart people, there are also dumb and smart dogs. But dogs do have the accute sense of smell which i think they register in their mind to help them remember things and people. We used to take in a stray but did not adopt it cause we already had a dog. So we tried finding it a home and one of our friends agreed to adpot it. So it was taken away and now lives happily in the new home. When we visit them, the dog instantly knows we have arrive and starts barking and reacts very happily when he sees us. So yeah, they do remember. Very Happy
My older sister has a dog that one of her friends used to have before her, he was addicted to drugs and alcohol so she was going to take care of the dog. It ended up that he didn't want, or maybe he knew that the dog had it better at my sister, and he has it much better there. It could be that he forgot about his previous owner but he didn't really have it great with him.

If they have good memories I would think they would remember you. It's not only dogs that remembers peoples after a long time, my father used to have goats and one of them were kind of my pet, I was gone for 1 1/2 year and came home again, she remembered me, so I think it's about good and happy memories. If the dog has happy memories it will be happy to see you, and I think it's the same the other way around.
I don't really think that dogs forgets their previous owner.
They've got a huge memory
From my experience they remember their human "family" for many years, probably till they die or go senile Laughing Laughing but I haven't observed them long enough to know. Over 5 or 6 years they definitely remember.
From what I've experienced they remember, as I gave my dog to my in laws, and hadn't seen him in a while. When I did come over he seemed to remember me.d
im yet to actually experience it but 2009's summer i bought a puppy at 2 and 1/2 months old and cared for it so much because i built this strange love connection to it. I named him nikko and from what ive heard what my granda said was that it runs all the way to the train tracks and come back for no reason. but the thing is thats exactly what me and nikko did every morning. so i absolutely believe that dogs and puppies do have good memories. this was all in bolivia and im visiting back just for him and ginger the other cute puppy this summer 2010. Very Happy
it really depends on the dog and how long you have had it for.

If you guys did activates together and had a fun time, then probably the dog didn't forget about you, I had my dog since she was a Puppy (New Born) and we let her stay with my mother's grandma because we moved to another state and when we came back, she still remembered us, and everytime we see her, she jumps with joy to see us.

Shes a Chiawawa mixed with Alaso Opso breed
Vrythramax wrote:
I have heard it said that dogs have no concept of today is forever to them. When they see us come back's a joyous occasion for them (the food bringer cometh)....nice thought huh?

Everything is a joyus occasion for a dog. Every day at like 6 o'clock, my dog picks up his leash and starts chasing me and wagging his tail waiting for me to take him. He's so excited, but it happens EVERY SINGLE DAY. Why is it so special, I don't know, but dogs seem to enjoy it.
Nope... they remember!
I doubt that a dog would ever forget its first owner. There brains work like humans do with memories. They remember events in there lives, who was with them, etc. They might get along with the new person but I doubt they would ever be as close to them as they would be with you because you were there first owner which I think makes them family.
Depends on the dog and the age. Had a puppy, went away for the summer, and the puppy forgot about me.

I have relatives with dogs who I only see once or twice a year, and they always remember me - jumping on me, licking my face, wagging their tail, friendly barking, etc.
I think it depends on the breed of the dogs. Some dogs are just better at remembering than others. I had an Austrian Sheppard and she's able to remember her owner from 4 years ago despite never seeing them during that time.
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