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Research Investigates Psychic Powers of Pooches!

Can dogs read your mind? New research tested the cognitive skills of 16 dogs through a range of scenarios... all involving food. The food-finding tasks included four different experiments where dogs had to decide where the food was hidden by following cues from people who either did or did not know where the food was. For example, one person watched food being hidden while the other covered their eyes and, in each test, the dogs showed a preference for the person who they believed knew where the food was.

This masters research project was recently completed by Canterbury University psychology student Michelle Maginnity to investigate whether the domestic dog has a theory of mind – that is, whether they can think about the thoughts and feelings of self and others.

Now, I do believe pets of all types are sensitive to human cues and attuned to human behavior, and North does have the uncanny ability to tell when I am about to grab a snack or accidentally drop part of that snack. This research takes that belief one step further, claiming pets can also have the ability to think about, and process, what their human companions may be thinking. Share your thoughts about this research in your comments below!


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emalove emalove 9 years
I don't know if they're psychic, but my cats certainly know when I'm upset or in a bad mood. They always come to me and try to cuddle me when I'm feeling down. I'm certain they can sense emotions/moods.
tawvry tawvry 9 years
Here's a link to a classic case, Clever Hans. He's a horse a lot of poeple believed could understand human speech, but it turned out to be a lot more interesting than that, in my opinion.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I truly believe that they know! When I was growing up, my mom would say how our Collie would know when I was going to be home. Different buses would go by the house and she would not react, when my bus drove by she would be waiting at the door for me. I also agree that when I am upset, my dogs are right there snuggling beside me and are on their best behaviour. There is so much proof!
Keaton7655 Keaton7655 9 years
Here is a link about a cat that has predicted multiple deaths at a nursing home. I don't think they are psychic, but their senses are just more in-tunes to sights and smells and sounds.
Dollylo Dollylo 9 years
I do believe it!! ;) My dog totally understand when I feel bad or when I'm sick. And so, she stays next to me and don't want to leave me 'til I feel better! ;)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I completely believe this. Dogs seem to be so savvy when it comes to humans and their immediate actions with food.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 9 years
"Theory of Mind" is much different than psychic powers. That title's very misleading! Theory of mind refers to an person's ability to realize that other people have thoughts which our different than our own. In this case they're claiming that the dog realizes that one human has information which is different from another. They've done this study with chimpanzees and other primates and initially found similar results. After further inspection, they found the study was flawed because chimps were trained to pick up on cues from the humans. This study with the dogs will probably turn out the same.
Dawnie86 Dawnie86 9 years
I though that so often with my dog. He is on my side when im ill, or i not feeling good. In the middle of the night, when i don't feel good, hes from on moment to the other by my side and nobody can bring him to leave me befor he nows that i am really better. And when were walking and an other dog comes along, that i just find to funny, or i don't know, don't like in anyway, my Dog don't even look at them. He just goes past them. Its really cute and a little freaky. Or when im coming from work, had there a call with someone like my mother or my father and there comeing to visit. I don't even have to say anything. Hes sitting by the door and waits. I really thing that animals are way smarter then humans can ever be.
veside veside 9 years
A lot of it is probably smell-based--animals can pick up pheromone changes in our bodies which are a result of us being angry/sad/excited that we know where the food is hidden, etc.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I don't think they are psychic I think we underestimate their senses. They pick up on very subtle cues that we give out. They know alot more than we think but it is due to being able to read us. I can tell when someone is having a bad day or is sad - does that make me psychic?
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 9 years
I was dog-sitting for a friend one weekend while going through a rough time. (My grandmother had just died.) I was sitting in the living room sniffling and acting like I was alone—when along came Lula the Weimaraner. She stopped by, tilted her head, and extended her paw as if to comfort me. It might be the cutest thing I've ever seen. Believe, people! :dog:
Leopardcc Leopardcc 9 years
Same here kiddylnd! If my daughter ever cries, her kitty, Princess, runs right to her. She stays with her until she is ok.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
When my BF and I had a major rift last year, my kitties were at my side 24/7. They snuggled when I didn't know I needed it, of their own volition. They also knew when I didn't want to be near anyone or anything and so just sat waiting at the foot of the bed for me to be ready. They will alert me when something is amis also, such as weather changes or when my son is sick. They know. They really do.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Has anyone else heard about animal abilities to detect natural disasters??
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