Will she remember her daddy, he's been gone a year

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Matilda, CGC

made in Germany
Barked: Sat Jan 24, '09 11:28pm PST 
Ok background: My husband has been in Iraq a little over a year. I got Matilda the day before he came home for r&r in Nov. He was here for 19 days. We are her third owners so she was confused and wild the whole time he was home.She was six months old then and is 8 months now. Since then we have worked through our behavior problems and all is good with her. My question is: Will she remember her daddy when he comes home in March? Do dogs have that ability? I dont know how strong his scent is in the house bc its been so long. Thanks for any advice/info.

Always my angel.
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 1:21am PST 
I can't give you anything scientific, but I think they remember. I was away from home at school for 8 months straight last year and Lisa (who lives at home with my parents) remembered me when I walked in the door. And there are stories of rescue dogs going nuts when they meet people who owned them a few years before, if they had a close bond with those people anyway. They remember.

I've also found some YouTube videos of returning soldiers being greeted by their dogs which you might like to watch. This one is about two minutes, it's a soldier coming home from Iraq and being met at the door by his dogs, very cute. I think the original source I read said he'd been gone for about a year, but I've lost that link since then so I can't confirm that. And then there's another one of a soldier being met by his boxer (I'm pretty sure) after 7 months in Iraq. It's a little longer, though the last minute or so are mostly pictures of him with his dog and his family and stuff.

ETA: Just reread your post. Based on timing his memory might be lost in the confusion of those first few weeks at home with you. I'd bet she remembers anyway, but she might not remember him very clearly and I'm not sure what associations she might have with him in her mind, if any. Then again, her sense of smell is significantly stronger than yours, so his scent might still be in the house or might have stuck around for a lot longer than you realized. So she might remember him that way, too.

Edited by author Sun Jan 25, '09 1:30am PST

Stella- "Blue"

Puttin' my freak- on!
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 4:24am PST 
She won't necessarily have a bond with him, but I think she will know she met him before. IDK if he was around long enough the first time, to have made a real connection. But I wouldn't worry about. I am sure that will work itself out.

Matilda, CGC

made in Germany
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 6:28am PST 
Thanks, I just dont want her showing aggression since she doesnt like men and there hastn been one in the house since then BOL. I will just reintroduce them and see how it goes

Arabic:- Sun/Sunshine
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 6:41am PST 

This was a question I asked just the other day... Only about me when I go to Iraq.

Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 7:35am PST 
The thread Shamps posted is a good one. I talked a bit about how Charger reacts after my husband is gone and comes home and how he talks to Charger on the phone. He's in the Navy so our deployments and underways are a bit shorter but more frequent.

My friends dads pit/rotty mix who has major HA problems remembered me after I hadn't seen her for 3 years, before that I'd probably only saw her for a combined total of 20 days. I really think it depends on the depth of bonding and the individual dog.

Charger is one of the knows no stranger dogs, with Matilda it may be different. Is she wary of new men? If so it may take a few days before she gets comfortable. Allow her to go at her own pace, arm him with treats and fun new toys so she associates him with good things. Have him feed her whenever he can, take her out to go potty etc. The more she needs to look to him for the more they will bond. Stay calm when you introduce them. You may be anxious to see what happens but the calmer you are the easier it will be for her.

Also, Make sure he goes into this with no expectations of her immediately warming up to him, that if she doesn't remember him, or if she shies away it is not from anything he has done or hasn't done. She's still just a puppy. I know sometimes not being greeted enthusiastically by their animal hits them hard especially after deployments.

Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 1:33pm PST 
I don't know how long Lily was in her first shelter - not too long, but she remembered one of the young men who had cared for her when she met him again 2 years later. She put her feet on a table and stretched across to give him a kiss - her idea, not his. Lily is rather reserved and does act like that in public. She'll be very friendly, but only with permission under normal cicumstances.
In loving- memory of- Lilo

Support bully- love. Ban BSL.
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 2:03pm PST 
They remember.

I have a few stories of how dogs remember.

For example, my brother in law and my sister live with us on and off. They've been doing this for a few years now. When Sakura was born, they were living with us. For the first four months of her life, my brother in law loved that dog. She loved him, too. Then, they moved to Texas. Since Sakura was so young, we were afraid she wouldn't remember him when he came back. But, they were gone for almost a year. They came back when she was about 1 year and two months old. Usually, when a stranger comes, Sakura hides or barks because of the new "invader". We were afraid she'd do this for them. However, when they walked through the door, Sakura ran up to my brother in law, peed in submission and wagged her tail. She'd remembered.

Sandy had never really had a chance to remember my sister and brother in law. They visited once in April and only for three days. In those three days, Sandy grew attached to them. She was really depressed when they left. But, she was young, so she bounced back fast. When they moved back from Texas, again, we were afraid what Sandy's reaction would be. But, instead of hiding, she, too, approached them and wagged her tail. And, she'd only known them for THREE DAYS. Amazing, isn't it?

Lilo has went through a series of homes before joining us. There was one, in particular, that she was with for the shortest amount of time. This woman was hardly ever home. She'd leave and leave Lilo alone in the house for DAYS- once even 1 1/2 weeks. She had her for a total of three months. In that three months, she'd spent about... oh... I'd say a month actually taking care of Lilo. Well, a few months ago, she came by to check on Lilo. We wouldn't let her near her for fear of how Lilo would react (this woman was never nice to Lilo) but, Lilo knew she was there. She recognized the smell, we think. Because, she went crazy. She was crying. She was acting scared. All day, she was worried. The last time she'd met that woman, her first owners were giving her away and, I honestly think, she remembered.

Sometimes, I swear, I think dogs have a better memory than we do. Because, that woman had Lilo when she was only 2 years old. She's about 7 now. I can't even remember names of people I met when I was a kid. What's yet faces and smells.

I'm not sure how your dog was bonded with your husband. But, regardless, I think he'll remember. Rather he remembers his smell or him in general, I think he will.

*Retrieva Diva!*
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 5:16pm PST 
I agree with the others, she will probably remember meeting him and interacting, but maybe not having an instant bond with him. It will take time.

Nallah was given to us from one of our family friends at work one day. Her owner had a female black lab who had an unplanned litter of puppies and Nall was the last one, he came in and asked if anyone wanted a puppy.......she was free and SO CUTE! Anyways, he stops in every once in a while to say Hi and she goes absolutely NUTS for him! She runs all over the place, whining, (happy whines) tail wagging like crazy! Her mom stops in as well. Its pretty amazing to see that they remember.

We've also driven by Nallah's old house. It was summertime so we had the windows open and she must have been able to smell it because as soon as we got near it she started whining.

Pretty neat stuff.

Let's play!
Barked: Sun Jan 25, '09 6:02pm PST 
When I first found Molly I took her over to a lady I was working for at the time. She fosters for the HS. Just recenly it was one year to the day since I found Molly. I took her back over for the lady to see and she remembered her. Since she only saw this lady once she wasn't completely bouncing off the walls happy to see her but she did remember her.

I once had a GSD who I left with my mother when I moved. I was gone 6 years and when I came home Lady restarted her habit of sleeping beside my bed. She didn't forget a thing but of course I had raised her from a puppy before leaving.

Your husband will still have to bond with her since he was only there for a few days when she was little but otherwise she should know him or at least not bite him as an intruder. laugh out loud