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Discussion Starter #1
Before I rescued Tom, I had always purebreds from breeders (a Boxer and a Lab) when I was growing up.

Molly and Cocoa were both wonderful dogs, but with Tom, I can't help but feel like he KNOWS that I rescued him. Sometimes when he sits at my feet or nudges my hand with his nose to be pet, I just feel like he's saying "Thank you, mom. I love you."

And then when I brought Bandit home last month, I got the same vibe from him.

I know that they probably don't fully comprehend everything, but the bond I share with these two is much stronger than any other dog I've ever had.

Am I crazy?

 

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I think your anthromorhpizing, I could say the same thing about my dogs except I KNOW I didn't rescue them so their behavior is interpreted differently in my mind than the same behavior is interpreted in your mind.
I have been around a lot of rescue dogs and non of them have acted "Thankful" towards their owners tho I have seen the owners interperate their behavior in that way because thats what is on their mind.
You may feel a deeper relationship with these dogs compaired to your other dogs because you know you saved them, but the dogs don't know they were saved, all they know is I moved to a new place with new smells, new things to see, and new rules.
 

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I think it depends on what situation they were in before. Max, my boy that only lived outside and was abused, I think is very thankful. We've had him 2 years now, and he still does the happy dachshund dance to his bed every single time we come in from the back yard. And he nudges me after every meal/and when I give him a chewy or a new toy. CerbieI don't think remembers, but I do know he likes it here.
 

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I don't know if rescue dogs truly are "thankful" for being rescued. Not even sure they know they were rescued. I think the "appreciation" you feel is partially anthropomorphizing, but mostly just the dog's personality. Perhaps the boxer and lab you owned before were just more independent, whereas your rescue dog (looks like maybe a herding mix or Golden retriever mix?) is more of a "velcro" dog. Basil is very clingy, and he was a rescue, but he's also a Papillon, which is a breed known for being loyal and affectionate towards their owners.
 

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With my rescue, we had to work patiently to help him learn to trust and not be fearful of everything. That work built an amazingly strong bond between us, and for us humans, it is beyond gratifying knowing that we are helping him to be the best dog he can be. I really do think it is a different process than someone goes through who gets a puppy from a breeder. Who's to say it is just the humans anthropomorphizing? Until we can read a dog's mind, we will never know for sure.
 

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I think it's just anthropomorphizing myself. Dogs memories just aren't that long.
I disagree that dogs memories aren't that long. The dog our family owned when I was a kid recognized an old family friend after four or five years. Basil hasn't even been alive that long, much less lived with ME that long. I'm pretty sure he remembers his past.

I think, though, that the difference is that dogs don't dwell on things that happened in the past. No dog feels sorry for himself for spending time in a shelter. The dog doesn't think "I was living in a terrible situation, but you saved me! Thank you!" Dogs live for the moment, and I think that's quite admirable actually. I wish I could get over things that easily!

Honestly, though, I'm sure many dogs appreciate that they're living with you NOW (Aside from make stubborn hounds like the ones Hulk lives with, lol!) but I sincerely doubt they appreciate their new life any more because of the idea that they were rescued from a worse situation.
 

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well unlike the rest of these naysayers :p i believe they know when their life has made a major change and it shows in their face I also feel that they have a general understanding you are the reason their has made that change and they show that by giving affection and being particularly loyal . Not to say a normal bought dog dosen't feel a close and loyal bond just I feel the bond is slightly different a bit...proceeded with caution if you will. I think with shelter dogs or rescue dogs they have learned that things "don't last" and so they don't really get comfortable with their surroundings and may even suffocate their personality because of it. The long they stay they more they open up and start feeling comftorable that their home is secure and it enables them to show you their true loving personaity without concern of his surroundings changing if he lets his guard down. You could say I read to much into it but when I see the difference in the face its just the conclusion I come to
First Day


Two weeks later


I can see in her face and feel in her body language and personality that she trusts me and has put all concerns to the wind. It is just my job now to keep that smile on her face
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like to think that there is a little bit of appreciation in my little babies, but it could all be in my head.

Amavana, I just can't get over how much your little girl looks like my Bandit! You said that you thought she was part boxer?
 

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nods vet said she is 90% sure she is at least partly boxer and votes that she is prolly lab or mixed retriever with it. The boxer is sooo obvious because of her personality...check out some of my vids on you tube on MyLelaBaby

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyLelaBaby?feature=mhum

I bet you she could be your dog's sis they match in looks in personality so much lol.
 

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Oh my gosh! I'm convinced now. Bandit uses his paws all the time. Very food-motivated and eager to please. He also has a little white patch on his chest like Lela.

She is absolutely prescious! I love her socks!
 

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I disagree that dogs memories aren't that long. The dog our family owned when I was a kid recognized an old family friend after four or five years. Basil hasn't even been alive that long, much less lived with ME that long. I'm pretty sure he remembers his past.

I think, though, that the difference is that dogs don't dwell on things that happened in the past. No dog feels sorry for himself for spending time in a shelter. The dog doesn't think "I was living in a terrible situation, but you saved me! Thank you!" Dogs live for the moment, and I think that's quite admirable actually. I wish I could get over things that easily!

Honestly, though, I'm sure many dogs appreciate that they're living with you NOW (Aside from make stubborn hounds like the ones Hulk lives with, lol!) but I sincerely doubt they appreciate their new life any more because of the idea that they were rescued from a worse situation.
I nearly smacked my hound last night when she woke up and decided she wanted to sleep in the OTHER crate. Apparently hers was no longer good enough for little Miss Priss so she decided to whine about it at 4 am. Dumb dog.

Anyway, I hate to go back to science again, but I seem to remember that dogs have an episodic memory that lasts about 15-20 mins. I may be wrong about that though.
 

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I nearly smacked my hound last night when she woke up and decided she wanted to sleep in the OTHER crate. Apparently hers was no longer good enough for little Miss Priss so she decided to whine about it at 4 am. Dumb dog.

Anyway, I hate to go back to science again, but I seem to remember that dogs have an episodic memory that lasts about 15-20 mins. I may be wrong about that though.
I believe that has to do with connecting behavior to a punishment, they can't make that connection after a period of time after the behavior. I do believe that dogs remember lots of things. Cherokee won't stand near a corner of the table where something fell down last year. He still remembers that something scary could happen if he stands there. I have a million examples of things that he remembers from day to day.
 

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I don't know that "appreciation for being rescued" is really the best way to phrase it because dogs don't know the full implications of that. I think they can recognize that "before sucked, and this is much better," and the process of rehabilitating a dog can build a very strong bond, but I think that sort of thing depends on the DOG, not the situation.

About dog memory, of course it's pretty good. How else could any dog get trained ever? What about one instance learning?
 

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I believe that has to do with connecting behavior to a punishment, they can't make that connection after a period of time after the behavior. I do believe that dogs remember lots of things. Cherokee won't stand near a corner of the table where something fell down last year. He still remembers that something scary could happen if he stands there. I have a million examples of things that he remembers from day to day.
This^^ Uallis is afraid of the baby gate and won't even touch it because he remembers that it one time fell on him when he was a puppy. Eddie had ONE bad experience with a UPS man and now hates them...to the point he can be aggressive to them. Before the experience he was fine with them, now he's scared. He remembers. Like, MMM said, there are a gazillion things that happens in the course of a day to show that they have some form of longterm memory.

I don't know that "appreciation for being rescued" is really the best way to phrase it because dogs don't know the full implications of that. I think they can recognize that "before sucked, and this is much better," and the process of rehabilitating a dog can build a very strong bond, but I think that sort of thing depends on the DOG, not the situation.

About dog memory, of course it's pretty good. How else could any dog get trained ever? What about one instance learning?
I agree with this too. Eddie was a stray. I seriously doubt that he has appreciation for me taking him in or is thankful for me. We have a close bond, but like you said, I think that has to do with bond building through training. Also, coupled with the fact that I feed him, give him attention and affection and in general, take care of him.
 

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All dogs are loving. All dogs have different personalities, as well. I don't believe rescue dogs consider their people any more 'special' than any other dog. Icesis goes into happy hysterics whenever we come back after leaving her for a while, way more than Nea does. But neither are rescues, it's just their personality types.
 

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I do think that thinking rescues are more grateful than bought dogs is anthropomorphizing. With the one instance learning cases, for those dogs, it was a really traumatic experience for them. Something worth remembering so they don't need to experience it again. I think that part of their long term memory is there for survival reasons.

For things like Lela's pictures, honestly, I think she looks "sad" because she was stressed out in a new environment. A couple days later she's "happy" because she's relaxing in her new home and getting used to things. I don't think it's a matter of being grateful so much as adjusting to a new place.

I do believe as Raegan does. That dogs know "This sucks" and "this is better". But I don't believe they recognize anything beyond that.
 

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I think she was "sad" cause she was dumped on the side of the road when her owner was arrested and she never saw him again. I think she was confused and scared and I think after enough time understand she had found a place that she could be comfortable. I also think all dogs show their apprication by showing affection and being loyal. But this is just one of those topics that will drag on about the "science" of it . Debating back and forth on it to me is kinda silly cause I think there is nothing wrong with some appricating their dog and feeling the dog feels the same way. In fact I don't know why you wouldn't want to feel that way with your dog. So many people have a mind set of no its a dog and dosent get it and yet I think they " get" more then people do half the time. They are smart and amazing creatures with the ability to understand many commands , jobs, and routines. I don't see why "appreciating " would be that hard for a dog to grasp.

appreciate : to be grateful or thankful for; to view as valuable; to be fully conscious of; be aware of; detect; to increase in value

I think its safe to say that a dog views their owner as something of value to them. We feed love and protect them there for they "appreciate" that they need us on some level for their contentment.

I also find that after i play , train, or feed my dog, she always loves on me giving me kisses and affection. I think this is showing her "thanks" for what I had done. A dog can't just say thank you so show it with their affection

I also said I that a bought dog didn't make a dog more or less loyal or affectionate just that in my PERSONAL experiences, the relationship I have with lela is just different. She is closer to me then any other dog I have and I feel that is mostly due to her experiences of getting "left behind"

And as far memory goes..i took lela to the store with me in a car ride from where I found her. And she panicked, she would not get out of the car ( there was a baseball park across the road I was going to bring her to ) and she just whined. I didn't think much of it until now but i think its possiable she remembers that as the last place she was taken out of a car and then left. Could it be untrue, yes, could it be true, also yes.
 

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I do think that thinking rescues are more grateful than bought dogs is anthropomorphizing. With the one instance learning cases, for those dogs, it was a really traumatic experience for them. Something worth remembering so they don't need to experience it again. I think that part of their long term memory is there for survival reasons.

For things like Lela's pictures, honestly, I think she looks "sad" because she was stressed out in a new environment. A couple days later she's "happy" because she's relaxing in her new home and getting used to things. I don't think it's a matter of being grateful so much as adjusting to a new place.

I do believe as Raegan does. That dogs know "This sucks" and "this is better". But I don't believe they recognize anything beyond that.
Bingo. If they knew beyond "Old bad, new good." and somehow had an epiphany that they were rescued, it would not take more than a warm house and a treat for the dog to realize they were in good hands.

If we were going to go this far, we could then claim Jonas does NOT appreciate being rescued because he pisses on my socks. Pretty far and illogical jump.
 

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Scientifically speaking, you are now more rewarding than previous times/people/places and rewarding lives are then anticipated and wonderful, making for a happy dog. You have become a conditioned reinforcer. This is a wonderful thing, as it allows the dog to blossom, learn and enjoy his life. If you choose to believe it's because he's grateful, that is absolutely not wrong but it may be a mirroring of how YOU feel about HIM rescuing YOU.

Any dog that is loved and trained and cared for properly will develop a bond with it's hooman, regardless of where it came from.
 
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