25 July 2022
We all know dogs have exceptional senses of smell and hearing. One reason we adopted them into human society is to act as guardians and let us know when danger is near. But do they sense more? Below are various experiments to test whether dogs have senses beyond sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste.
In this experiment conducted by Rupert Sheldrake, a terrier named Jaytee seemed to have an extra connection to his owner. When the owner came home, Jaytee always seemed to know beforehand. So science decided to check it out and see what was up. An experiment was conducted where cameras were set up to watch Jaytee’s normal spots where he would wait and watch for his owners to return. By the doors and windows. Jaytee would just be going about his doggie day, and at a random time, Jaytee’s owner would be told to go home. As soon as the owner started prepping to return home, Jaytee consistently went to his wait spots more often, seemingly anticipating his owner coming home. This seems to confirm that somehow Jaytee knew his owner was returning despite the owner being more than 7 km away.
Check out Sheldrake’s white paper here if you want to see the details of the experiment.
Around 1970 an experiment was conducted by Aristide Esser on an owner and his pet beagles. The dogs were placed in a sound and vibration-proof room and the owner in another room. The owner was subjected to sudden noises. The beagles reacted when the owner was startled by the sounds. It seems to indicate they knew their owner was startled. The experiment was repeated with a boxer and his owner with the same results.
There are many stories about dogs being far from home and finding their way back. One of the more famous ones is The Dog Max. In the 1930s experiments were conducted in Germany where he would be taken somewhere around six miles from home and left to find his way back. Observers were watching him so he wasn’t abandoned. The observers were looking for clues as to how Max was navigating, such as sniffing the air or ground. Max would usually find his way home despite not having any idea which way home was.
Around 1920 there was an animal trainer and circus performer named Vladimir L. Durov who had a special connection with his circus animals. He claimed to be giving the animals a mental suggestion. A scientist named Bernard Bernardovich Kazhinskiy took note and decided to study the phenomenon. They conducted around 1,300 experiments to determine if the phenomenon was real. Half of them were successful. Then they decided to try it with a faraday cage to cut off the possibility of electromagnetism being responsible. All the experiments failed in the faraday cage suggesting electromagnetism has something to do with the communications.