What are the theories in regards to how some dogs seem to know when their favorite person is on the way home â€“ even if it is at a different time or they are inside a different vehicle?
The main theory to explain how some dogs known when to expect their owner or favorite person home has to do with how dogs perceive time. Dogs sense time differently than humans, relying mostly on animal memory and anticipation. Dogs lack the ability to form definite memories, and are therefore always living in the present. They cannot travel back in time in their minds, nor project forward and imagine the future.
Dogs also have an internal biological rhythm that helps them perceive time. This internal clock lets them know when to expect food, walks, and bedtime and of course, when their owner will return home. Dogs also rely on their daily fluctuations of hormones and other biological cues to know when certain things are supposed to happen, even if they have no exact memory of things happening before. In this way, dog’s biological cues help them to react the same way each day and follow a routine.
So, it could very well be that a dog is not expecting or anticipating the arrival of their favorite person at a specific time, but more likely that a dog knows that something is supposed to happen and is prepared to handle whatever that situation might be. Time cues and biological factors help to alert the dog that something is supposed to take place, and their reaction is often perceived as excitement and anticipation.