Purpose:  This bi week, Scientific AmeriKen examines the limits of nature's most sociable animal, the dog.  The purpose of this experiment will be to determine the maximum amount of time a dog can keep an obscure fact in mind.

Hypothesis:  Due to a bias as to the mental capacities of animals, the hypothesis of this experiment is that the dog will soon forget where objects are hidden and will be unable to remember objects 1 - 1.5 minutes after the dog is removed from the object.

Equipment:  Needed for this experiment is a dog and a 'squeaky' ball, stopwatch.

Procedure:  The first step is to grab the dog's attention with the ball. Guide the dog over to a place where the ball is to be hidden, however, easily attainable and show him the spot. Remove the dog out of visual range of the objects location.  Hold the dog for a set amount of time then release. If dog recovers the ball, repeat the experiment in a different location. Continue until dog no longer finds ball.

Time dog restrained Observations
10 seconds Dog recovered ball
30 seconds Dog recovered ball
1 minute Dog recovered ball
2 minutes Dog recovered ball
3 minutes Dog recovered ball
5 minutes Dog recovered ball
10 minutes Dog escaped after 7.5 minutes of restraint and recovered ball
Due to difficulty of restraining 
dog, experimenting ceased
x x x x x x

Conclusions:  It is apparent from the results that the dog has a one track mind. Official results are that the dog's short term memory is in excess of 7.5 minutes and defiantly could be extended beyond that.  One foreseeable flaw to this experiment is the possibility that the dog may appear to forget where the object is, however, in actuality is just bored with the game.  Unfortunately, such a problem was not encountered in this experiment so that it could be reconciled.  For this reason it is expected that a fine line exist between the desired result of forgetting where the ball lie and simple lack of participation in the game.  Basically, one would have to observe the dog to see whether it actually is trying or not.  Perhaps once new methods of restraint are created this concept can be tested, until then, Scientific AmeriKen will have a new understanding of the mental strength of man's best friend.

Scientific AmeriKen
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