Will my puppy remember me in a month?
September 3, 2019 10:45 PM   Subscribe

I have a 10 week old puppy. She was weaned and I took her home at 7 weeks. We've had a good (if exhausting) 3 weeks and . . . I'm about to leave for a month. She'll be going back to live with her mother and two of her siblings while I'm gone and I'm wondering what to expect when I return. We've had fairly good bonding time, but at her age will she even remember it?
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
Absolutely. Our dogs remembered my sister who was only with them for a week and left to go overseas for years. They never ever forgot her. It was adorable. Their first humans in their forever home totally imprint upon them.
posted by taff at 1:16 AM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]

My parent's dog spent a couple weeks with them as a puppy, had to go back to her foster home with her littermates for a month because of complicated things, and totally remembered my mom and dad and their house when she got back to them.
posted by Mizu at 3:01 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Give her bits of your old clothes with your scent!
posted by gryphonlover at 6:14 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

Our dog remembers and gets excited about seeing someone a year later who had only spent one evening at our house. Dogs tend to be very focused on people and chances are that yours will remember you.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 AM on September 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

I bet she will! Not every dog shows it in the same way though. My dog doesn’t do the “hero’s welcome” stuff like a lot of other dogs but she will remember what toy you played with with her and bring it over to you, or remember people who liked to take her for walks and try to move them over to her leash, things like that.
posted by sallybrown at 7:04 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had to leave my pug for a few weeks at almost the same point and he definitely remembered and was thrilled to see me.

Sending a t-shirt and a couple of toys from your home along with your little girl is also a good idea to help keep your scent in her consciousness.
posted by rpfields at 7:08 AM on September 4, 2019

I catsit a cat for a month and she remembered me over a decade later- she had gone on to become a bookstore cat, and she didn’t like to be picked up by patrons. The bookstore staff, who had never met me, were stunned when I came in and picked her up and she purred happily.

Puppy will totally remember you! Wear a T-shirt for a few nights or work out in it and hang to dry, and then send it with her.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:20 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

I met my friend's dog when he was about three months old and fell in love. I only see her twice a year for a few days and was depressed at the thought that he probably wouldn't remember me on my next visit. WRONG. We are BFFs even though I only see him for a total of about eight days a year.
posted by praemunire at 8:01 AM on September 4, 2019

I puppy sat a pup that was only away from its mom for less than a month when my friends went away for a week. 12 years later the puppy is now an old and very well-trained and behaved dog who will still sit calmly when other people visit them. But to this day he will lose his shit like he's still that same excitable puppy when I visit him (once a year-ish).

Have no fear, puppy will remember you.
posted by bowmaniac at 9:12 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Even for an older dog, when I adopted my current dog at about a year old, I had to go out of town for a few weeks about a month after adopting her. She literally knocked me to the floor from a standing position in her excitement that I was back and I was back and not going anywhere, which is rather impressive for a 35lb dog.

I think it's as much about the connection and the attention to the dog you pay as anything: dogs remember people who create independent relationships with them, and dogs get attached to people who get attached to them, too. It sounds like your puppy is not going to get a ton of individual bonding time when she goes back to hang out with her mom and her siblings, which will probably make her even more excited to see you again when you return. People who are just watching dogs, especially people who have their own dogs that they're very bonded to, generally don't make the same impression on a dog as someone who is aiming to build a proper relationship with that dog.
posted by sciatrix at 10:05 AM on September 4, 2019

Response by poster: She definitely remembers me!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:55 AM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Dogs, man. How did humans get so lucky? <3
posted by sallybrown at 12:18 PM on October 6, 2019

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