Can you make it in your front door without finding your dog waiting there to greet you? Most people can’t.
Do you ever ask yourself how your dog knows when you’re home?
Fooling The Dog
Over the years, I’ve seen our dogs respond to the sound of our my husband driving up in the car. They often hear it first and I notice it after I see the dog go rushing for the door.
But we’ve made it tougher for Honey to know when we’re coming home.
For one thing, my husband and I both used to walk or bike to and from work. So there was no telltale sound of the car pulling up for our daily comings and goings.
And yet somehow, she always ran for the door right before my husband walked in. How did she know when I didn’t know myself?
The Dog Hears Us Coming
Eventually, I figured out what Honey was responding to.
When we rode our bikes, Mike and I would bring them around to the basement entrance in the backyard. To get there, we’d open the gate which made a quiet, but distinctive sound as the metal clasp opened.
Honey was so attuned to that sound of my husband coming home that she responded to it instantly, even if she was asleep at the time.
Her attention gave her time to go running downstairs and to find a toy to greet Mike with when he came up the basement steps.
But now that we live on a boat, it’s harder for Honey to hear us coming. So why is she always waiting with a toy in her mouth when we open the companionway after being away?
Rocking The Boat
Honey may find herself on a different dock every day. There are no telltale noises she can count on everywhere.
And Mike and I approach the boat very quietly on foot.
But there’s one thing we can’t disguise—the motion of the boat as we step on board.
Our boat is pretty heavy for being less than 40 feet long. It weighs just under 14,000 pounds.
But in the water, that’s light enough that we can rock it just by stepping on board. And it tells Honey we’re home. So she has time to wake up, find her favorite toy, and be looking up at us from the bottom of the companionway stairs.
Honey is a clever girl. But I’ve never seen any sign that she’s telepathic.
Is your dog?
Jaytee The Mind Reading Dog
Have you heard about Rupert Sheldrake and Pamela Smart’s experiments with Jaytee?
Jaytee was Pamela Smart’s dog. And he always seemed to anticipate her coming home. In fact, experiments done over time found Jaytee going to the window around the time Pamela left wherever she had been to go home.
If you’re cynical, you probably have the same thoughts I did.
Jaycee might be responding to the people in the house who knew when Pamela would be heading home. Or maybe people see him going to the window and assume he’s waiting for Pamela when he’s actually just watching the squirrels.
But you can read about Sheldrake’s research for yourself to see all the ways they tried to fool Jaytee. And the data show Jaytee anticipating his person coming home by a far greater than random chance.
I don’t know if some dogs have telepathy with their humans. But sometimes it certainly seems that way.
So maybe the next time you come home to find your dog waiting for you by the front door, you won’t assume he or she just heard your call pull up.
Because your dog might be reading your mind to know when you’re coming home.
Your Turn: Can you sneak into your house without our dog knowing you’re home? If not, how does your dog know you’re home?