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Can My Dog See Ghosts?

Author: Greg Raub | Date: January 23, 2014

A couple weeks ago my partner and I went to see a production of Ghost the Musical. It’s based on the 1990 film Ghost. You know, the one with Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, a potter’s wheel and “Unchained Melody”. It made me think of a question that came up in a class a while back…and has come up in my household over the years:

Can dogs see ghosts?

It comes up in my household when we catch our dog Ernie just staring off at nothing. It’s like something has him totally captivated. But there is nothing there. It’s like he is watching something we can’t see. Could it be a ghost?
The question is not all that unusual. As I mentioned, it also came up in a recent class when the client’s dog was doing the same sorts of things we’ve seen Ernie do. What’s the answer? Well, it depends on who you ask…and whether or not you believe that ghosts exist.

In looking into this topic, this article is one of the best I’ve seen. As it points out, there is no scientific evidence that dogs can see ghosts. But there is scientific evidence that they can see and smell things we might not be able to see or smell. I’ve written in this blog in the past about our dogs’ senses. So when your dog is just staring off into space, he may just be looking for something he smells.

For me, what I like about this question is that it simply goes to show that we don’t know everything about the animals we live with. So when I see Ernie staring at something/nothing, it just reminds me of one reason I’m captivated by dogs. They can sometimes be very predictable. Their behaviors can sometimes be pretty easy to explain. But often they can also still be very mysterious creatures.

What do you find mystifying about your dog? Do you your think your dog can see ghosts?


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