Dog Skills: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?

Dog Skills: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?

In the United States there have even been government-funded experiments to determine if dogs are psychic. In 1952, representatives from the army asked Dr. J. B. Rhine if he thought that dogs could locate hidden land mines. Obviously, if dogs could sense them, many lives would be saved. Dr. Rhine agreed to conduct some experiments to see if dogs did possess the necessary clairvoyant skills.

The tests were conducted on a beach north of San Francisco, California. Five wooden boxes were buried in the sand to represent hidden land mines. A dog handler, who had no idea where the boxes were buried, led the dogs across the beach. The dogs were trained to sit down when they felt they had detected one of the boxes.

Two hundred and three tests were conducted over a three-month period, and the dogs successfully located the boxes slightly more than 50 percent of the time. However, the handlers noticed that the dogs achieved better results at the start of each test, and that the accuracy rate declined after a short period of time.

Finally, the Army stopped the tests because the results were not consistent enough. The other problem was that the dogs needed to be accompanied by a handler to successfully locate the mines.

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Testing Dogs with Psychic Experiments

Remi Cadoret of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University studied Chris the Wonder Dog in the late 1950s. Chris, a mongrel, was able to answer questions by pawing the correct number of times at his master's shirtsleeves. Remi Cadoret introduced the dog to Zener cards, a deck of twenty-five cards that were frequently used in psychic experiments. The deck consists of five cards each of five designs (circle, plus sign, square, star, and wavy lines). The cards were placed in black envelopes and thoroughly mixed to ensure that no one knew their correct order. This eliminated the possibility of Chris reading anyone's mind. Chris was able to determine which card was in which envelope clairvoyantly. In one series of tests his results were in "the order of a thousand million to one against chance expectation."

Testing Animals for ESP

Dog Skills: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?Another scientific test was more conclusive. Aristed Esser, a psychiatrist at Rockland State Hospital in New York, was inspired by rumors that the Soviets had been testing animals for ESP with good results. Dr. Esser decided to find out if dogs responded telepathically when their masters or canine relatives felt threatened in any way.

One of his first experiments was to place two beagles who had been trained as hunting dogs in a room at one end of a hospital. Their master was placed in a room at the other end of the hospital. His task was to fire an airgun at colored slides of animals that were displayed on a wall of the room at random intervals. His dogs began barking and whining as soon as he fired the gun, even though they could neither see nor hear what he was doing.

A later experiment utilized a boxer dog and his mistress. The dog was placed in a soundproof room, with a device that measured his heartbeat. The woman was placed in another room. Suddenly a man charged into this room and began yelling at her. The lady had no idea that this was part of the experiment and was terrified. At the exact moment that this occurred, the heart rate of the boxer in the soundproof room increased dramatically. Another test involved two boxers, a mother and son. Again, they were placed in separate rooms. When one of the experimenters used a newspaper to threaten the younger dog, the mother dog immediately cowered.

Yes, Your Dog Is Psychic

Your dog is likely to be much more intelligent than you think. He or she will enjoy performing psychic experiments, as it will be seen as yet another way of pleasing you. Do not keep practicing these tests for hours on end, as the success rate will decline as your dog tires and loses interest. Twenty minutes is about the right length of time. Regular short sessions are much better than a lengthy session every now and again. Be lavish in your praise every time your dog succeeds in any of these tests.

Be aware that psychic abilities do not develop in a steady fashion. Your dog may start out well, and then appear to lose ground. This is normal. Keep on practicing and further progress will be made.

Most people want to show their dog's skills off to others. Your dog is extremely aware of the thought processes of everyone around him or her. If you try to show your dog's talents to someone who is skeptical, your dog will probably refuse to perform or will perform badly. However, when surrounded by pleasant, open-minded people, your dog will be keen to demonstrate.

Yes, Dogs Can Differentiate Colors

For years it was thought that dogs could see only black and white. However, it is now known that dogs can see tints of color, similar to light pastel. They can easily recognize a red ball from a blue ball, but have problems similar to people with red-green color blindness and find it hard to determine the colors from greenish yellow to red.

For this test you need six large wooden blocks, each painted a different color. I use the primary colors: red, blue, black, green, yellow, and white. Place these in a row several feet away from you. Show them to your dog, picking them up one at a time and telling him what color each one is. Choose one color, and show this one to your dog several times. Mix the blocks up and place them in a row. Ask your dog to fetch you the block of the color that you had chosen. Once your dog can do this, do the same with the other colors.

Now you can start on the test proper. Mix up the blocks and ask your dog to fetch, say, the blue one. Be lavish with your praise each time he or she is successful. Keep on practicing this until it is obvious that your dog can identify each block by its color.

Up until now, this has been an intelligence test. Your dog will enjoy fetching the correct colors for you, and will consider this experiment to be a wonderful game. In fact, you can expand the game even more. You can ask your dog to fetch the block that matches the colors that you are wearing. You can ask your dog to bring you his or her favorite, or least-liked, color. You will find that these choices remain constant. Now it is time to turn this game into a telepathy test.

Next Step: Test for Telepathy

Dog Skills: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?

Mentally decide on a color and send a telepathic message to your dog, asking him or her to bring that particular block to you. Focus your thoughts on your dog walking over, choosing the specific block, and bringing it back to you. Your dog may seem puzzled or perplexed at first, as he or she will be used to you asking for them out loud. However, after a possible slight resistance to begin with, your dog will fetch the color that you are thinking about.

Naturally, this test can be performed with any group of objects that your dog can pick up and bring to you.

Time for a Walk? Another Test for Telepathy

This is another test in telepathy. Sit down somewhere in a different room to your dog. Close your eyes and think about taking your dog for a walk. Picture yourself making the usual preparations and then stepping out of the house and starting the walk. Visualize your dog and what he or she would normally be doing at the start of a walk.

It is likely that your dog will be standing excitedly in front of you, ready for a walk, before you have finished thinking about it. Of course, this test should be done at a time when you do not normally go for a walk. Reward your dog by taking him or her for a walk.

This test can also be done for anything else your dog likes to do. It also works in reverse. Whenever I thought about giving our dog a bath, he would disappear.

While taking your dog for a walk, think about a place on the route that you would like to visit. It needs to be somewhere that you do not stop at regularly. If your walk takes you past a friend's house, for instance, think how nice it would be to visit him or her. See if your dog leads the way into your friend's home without any verbal or physical cues from you.

What Would You Like to Do? Advanced Test

This is a more advanced test. Sit down quietly somewhere, close your eyes, and send your dog a psychic message asking what he or she would like to do.

You may find that your dog immediately appears, excited that you are going to do what he or she wants. At the same time, you may receive a clear mental impression as to what it is he or she wants to do. If the mental impression does not come through, follow your pet and see if that provides enough clues for you to carry out the desired response.

Bruce, our Labrador, usually wanted to go out in the car. Sometimes he would ask for a game with his ball. Occasionally, he would decide on a walk, but most of the time, a request for a ride in the car would come to me. He always sat on the back seat, looking from side to side, making the most of the journey.

Multiple Request Test

This fascinating test involves mentally suggesting that your dog does a number of actions. You might, for instance, suggest that he or she go to the bedroom and fetch your slippers before picking up a plaything so that the two of you can have a game.

I find this works best if the dog is sleeping and the tasks are pleasant ones. Sit down in the same room as your dog and think about the actions you want him or her to perform. Think about each action in turn, saying mentally to yourself something like this: " I want you to fetch my slippers first, and then go and find your rubber banana so that we can have a game."

When you first experiment with this, you may have to think of the first task until your dog has done it, and then think of the second task until it has been successfully performed, before going on to the third. However, in time, you will be able to think of a whole series of activities and your dog will faithfully do them all in order.

The Find It Test

Dog Skills: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?If your dog has a well-loved toy, you will be able to conduct this experiment. When your dog is out of the room, hide the toy in a place where he or she will be able to find it. Call the dog to you and ask it to find the object.

If the toy has a place where it is usually kept, your dog will go there first. It will probably be reluctant to look anywhere else. Think about where you have hidden the toy, and try to send these thoughts to your dog. Telepathically, lead it to the object step by step.

Do not repeat this exercise more than once a day. When your dog finds the object, spend some time with your pet enjoying a game with the object.

Obviously, well-loved toys develop an odor that can be picked up by our pets. To avoid this, try placing the objects in airtight containers, and see if your pet is still able to locate the toy. I find that plastic kitchenware works well. This partially replicates tests done with cats at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in which cat food was hidden in identical sealed containers, eliminating the senses of sight and smell. The researchers at Durham felt that the results of this test "make clairvoyance in cats the most likely explanation."

Clairvoyancy Test

This is a variation of the previous test. You will need five or six identical boxes. Place the toy inside one of them. Place other items in the other boxes. Close the boxes, mix them up, and then ask your dog to find the box that contains his or her toy.

Bath-Time Test

Our dog, Bruce, hated having a bath and always disappeared as soon as we even thought about it. He always responded to a call, except when it was bath-time. If your dog hates a specific activity, you can try the following test in telepathy.

Your dog must be out of sight. Sit down, close your eyes, and think about the task that your dog detests. With Bruce, I would think about giving him a bath. Think about it for at least five minutes. Then call your dog and see if he or she comes. Your dog may do as Bruce did, and simply not respond at all. Alternatively, he or she may respond but come up to you looking distinctly unhappy. This is a success, also, as your dog obviously read your thoughts. The experiment is considered a failure if your dog bounds up to you in his or her normal fashion.

This article is excerpted from the book:  Is Your Pet Psychic by Richard WebsterThis article is excerpted with permission from the book:

Is Your Pet Psychic
by Richard Webster.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Llewellyn. ©2002.

Info/Order this book.

About the Author


Richard Webster, author of the article: Is Man's Best Friend Psychic?

Richard Webster was born in New Zealand in 1946, and most of his earliest memories relate to animals of various sorts. Currently, Richard and his wife have just two cats, a rabbit, and three fish. They also have three children and three grandchildren, all of whom share Richard's love of animals. Richard has written many books, mainly on psychic subjects, and also writes monthly magazine columns. He would write more, but his pets tell him when it is time to stop and play. Visit his website at


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