If you think your dog doesn't have a very good memory, just try walking past the spot where he found a dead animal or other equally smelly and enticing (to our dogs) object the other day. If your dog is anything like mine, he will make a beeline for that spot.
While I love living in a rural area, there are some downsides. I enjoy seeing all of the wildlife, but finding remains of the poor bunnies who have met an unpleasant end to life is not so pleasant. At least, for me it's not. For my dogs, it is a very exciting event. The next day, they make a beeline for that same spot. And the next day. And the next day. In fact, it's been about three weeks since a poor bunny met his demise in our meadow, and the dogs still make a beeline to check that spot every day even though I can no longer see any signs of what happened there.
Some days Romeo can't seem to remember that he needs to sit at the doorway when he comes in from outside. (April 2011) But he most certainly remembers where the bunnies normally hang out, and he absolutely remembers where the leftovers are from the coyote's meal from the other day.
When we walk on our acreage, we have a few main trails that we walk. Our main trail to the back of the property is sort of a figure 8. The middle of the “8” is at the top of the hill. Normally, we walk out one side and back on the other. So when we return to the top of the hill, if we walked up the north side, we walk back down the south side. Occasionally, I am thinking about other things and forget which way we walked heading out. However, without fail, Romeo knows which way we walked and always heads back the other way on our return. It's very interesting to me that he does this without fail. We normally walk twice a day, so we cover this route quite a lot. Never once has he tried to go back the way we walked out. With all of the distractions on a walk, you might think he would forget once in a while. But it never happens.
I'd love to hear some of your stories about your own dog's memories, whether on walks or in other situations.