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Do dogs have superpowers?

Do dogs have superpowers?
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Dogs are extraordinary beings, in part because humans have been breeding them that way for the last 20,000 to 40,000 years. Among their many superpowers, they can sense the presence of actual things that humans cannot, such as impending weather and or the presence of cancer. But can dogs see ghosts?

Lots of people believe they can, including psychic crime solver Kristy Robinett, who shared with Reader’s Digest a tale that may make even non-believers believe. (More on that below). We also posed the question to a number of dog experts, including doctoral-level dog behaviourists and veterinarians. Here’s what we learned.

The question is more about you than your dog

The question is more about you than your dog
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When trauma therapist and spiritual expert Audrey Hope sees her own dog behaving as if he’s seen a ghost, she believes that he has. However, underlying that is Hope’s own belief in the paranormal. Before you get to the question about whether dogs can see ghosts, you first have to address whether you believe that ghosts even exist.

“There is plenty of documentation that could support the notion that dogs can sense paranormal activity,” according to veterinarian Dr Jesus Aramendi, but it’s only meaningful to the extent you actually believe that paranormal activity exists and is capable of being sensed by the living. After all, there aren’t any scientific studies that prove the existence of the paranormal or dogs’ relation to it. That said, while science loves to spoil ghost stories, a good 45 per cent of people believe in ghosts. In other words, almost half of the population, the question “Can dogs see ghosts?” isn’t about whether ghosts exist but simply whether dogs are capable of seeing them.

What can dogs see that humans can’t?

What can dogs see that humans can’t?
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Humans are much better than dogs at sensing colours and clarity. However, dogs can see movement far better than humans can – something that’s especially true in low light conditions, says animal behaviourist Dr Jill Villarreal. So, if you believe in ghosts and subscribe to the notion that ghosts tend to make their appearance under the cover of darkness, then dogs would be in a far better position to see them than humans.

If you believe in ghosts, you’ll enjoy these true ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world.

The doggy version of “ESP”

The doggy version of “ESP”
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“Dogs are naturally equipped with one of the best senses of smell in the animal kingdom,” Dr Aramendi tells Reader’s Digest. “A dog’s sense of smell can be 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.” So, in that sense, dogs have “ESP” – as in “Extra Smell Perception.” And if you believe in ghosts, then Dr Aramendi doesn’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that dogs would be able to perceive them via scent.

But if it appears a dog is “smelling” a ghost, there is likely also a logical scientific explanation for it. “After my husband passed, our dog would often sit in my husband’s favourite chair as if he could sense my husband’s presence,” Villarreal recalls. “And it’s likely he could – just not necessarily in a paranormal way, but rather in the sense that my husband’s scent still lingered on the chair’s fabric.”

When your dog’s hair stands on end

When your dog’s hair stands on end
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“Next time your dog’s hair seems to stand on end for no reason, take a look around and see if you can perceive the cause,” suggests Villarreal. Scientists have been investigating how dogs sense the world around them through their skin (and by extension, the movements of their hair), and it’s well known that dogs can detect movement as well as temperature changes in ways humans cannot.

In addition, dogs can hear twice as many frequencies as humans, according to Dr Aramendi, and they can pick up sounds that are four times farther away than humans would be able to detect. So, if ghosts exist, dogs could very well have such a powerful sense of hearing that they could recognise them by sound.

Check out these 13 funniest things caught on pet cams.

Dogs and humans: The ultimate feedback loop

Dogs and humans: The ultimate feedback loop
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Over the course of thousands of years, dogs have become not only astute observers of human behaviour but also skilled impressionists, veterinarian Matthew McCarthy, tells Reader’s Digest. So, if you believe in ghosts and you start to sense that something paranormal is afoot, your dog might sense your energy and pick up on the fact that you’re feeling something.

If your reaction is fear, your dog may tuck his tail between his hind legs or growl. If your reaction is excitement, your dog may spontaneously come down with a case of the zoomies. In turn, you may be inclined to react to your dog’s reaction with positive attention (for example, petting and reassuring him). Your dog will then be inclined to continue and repeat his behaviour.

Or…it could be that your dog has, in fact, seen a ghost, according to Robinett, who relays the tale of a widow whose dog, Elmer, seemed to be in contact with her deceased husband. In the days following the funeral, Elmer would sleep on her late husband’s side of the bed, laying his head on the pillow in an almost human-like way. As time went on, Elmer took to running to the front door in the evenings and playfully greeting an unseen visitor. To the widow, it was as if her deceased husband were returning home. According to Robinett, that is precisely what it may have been.

Whether or not you’re a believer, you won’t want to miss these ghost ship mysteries that can’t be explained.

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Source: rd.com

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