Like humans, are dogs creatures of habit?

Every morning my dog goes outside, uses the restroom, goes next door to my parents, eats and crashes on their porch for a few hours. This morning we didn’t do that because she went to the store with me. But before we left, she ate and then I wouldn’t let her lay down, so she started acting really weird and funny. I eventually got her in the car and she settled down.

Now, are dogs known to be creatures of habit, because to me it seems she gets rowdy if I break her usual routine.

I’d argue that dogs (and cats) are even more cfreatures of habit than people. Our cats get extremely annoyed if we don’t feed them at what they take as the normal time. I knew a dog that made rounds of offices at a university, like clockwork. She’d show up for her 10 AM treat at one office, every day, for instance.

Other animals, too. Niko Tinbergen wrote about water shrews that they got into a set pattern in the environment he built for them. When he rem,oved one item, they continued to go around it, as if it was still there, for a long time. eventually they “reprogrammed” themselves into a new rut.

We call our husky “the OCD dog” because she is so predictable, and gets so irritated if her routine is not respected. Dog cookies must be given at the same time every morning. After her begging routine at dinner, she inspects the kitchen for any thing that fell on the floor, then she has to go our side for a couple of hours. When she comes back in, she stares at the laser pointer on the table until you let her chase it for a while. And on and on; you can set your watch by her routine.

I’m now wondering if there is a market for a device that you can set to automatically dispense food at a certain time.

In fact, they already exist – they look something like food bowls with oven timers on them. Mostly used for when people are going out of town for days at a time.

What amazes me-my dog KNOWS when its Saturday morning! Saturday means: sleep late, wear old colothes-trip to HOME DEPOT and possibly trip to cape Cod! The dog is so eager-he waits at the door, and runs into the car! How he knows that its Saturday, I have no idea! :eek:

We have 3 dogs and each one has a completely different personality and a different set of habits. Our Bassett is the most opinionated & stubborn of the three.

Confusion time for both our dog and cat coming up. This weekend the clocks go back by one hour and it will take them a few days to realise their 6’oclock feeding time has “changed”

I have a very irregular schedual and my dogs seem to have no problem with it. They have food out all day (heracy, I know). We go for walks when I feel like it. We go to bed when I feel like it. They don’t get moody or destructive or anything. They’re calm, adaptable, and pretty well trained. They get excited to go for a walk whether it’s five in the moring or three in the afternoon. So, YMMV.

I have a very irregular schedule and my dogs seem to have no problem with it. They have food out all day (heresy, I know). We go for walks when I feel like it. We go to bed when I feel like it. They don’t get moody or destructive or anything. They’re calm, adaptable, and pretty well trained. They get excited to go for a walk whether it’s five in the morning or three in the afternoon. So, YMMV.

Dogs are most certainly creatures of habit. My dogs know when it’s around time for my husband to come home and they all go down to the door to wait for him. They also know when it’s their “out time” and will remind me if I forget. (They’re not completely precise with it. They seem to operate on a “circa” system. Thus, they start whining for their five PM “out time” at 4:45 or 5:15 depending, I guess, on how full their bladders are.)

My eldest dog is one who is a real stickler for a schedule. If my husband isn’t home at his normal time, she starts searching the house for him. I’ve followed her on occasion. She looks in each room, and then starts looking in odd places, like under the bed, in the toilet (never figured that one out) and in all the closets. If he calls to say he’ll be late, she sniffs the phone and then goes to lay down. I suppose she figures he’s stuck in there because she heard his voice.

They also seem to think the front door and the back lead to two seperate worlds. If you go out the front door and return by it, they greet you like you’ve been gone for months even if you just went out to get the mail. If you go out the back door, however, you can be gone for hours and your return is greeted with nothing more than a casual wag of the tail. The backyard is where they eliminate, so I guess they figure we went out to pee and took a really long time at it.

How do they react if you leave by one door and return by the other?