You rely on your dog to bark when a stranger comes to the door, but can your four-legged friend save you from a dangerous situation or alert you to a health scare? We called on best-selling author Dr. Stanley Coren for his expertise. As an award-winning researcher and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University of British Columbia, his insights about animal intuition might surprise you.
Dogs Hear Seismic Activity
While Dr. Coren was studying a seasonal condition in dogs, he coincidentally discovered a correlation between dogs' heightened anxiety and an earthquake. Nearly 50 percent of the dogs Dr. Coren observed exhibited an unexpected increase in anxiety the day before a major earthquake. Dr. Coren determined the dogs had heard seismic activity underground, long before it was perceptible to humans. The dogs' increased anxiety was an outward sign something unusual was coming.
Additional research suggests that, although it is unlikely animal intuition will save you from impending danger, your dog's keen sense of hearing and restless behavior may be a warning to check the forecast.
Dogs and Illness
"Whether a dog can detect an illness or some kind of life-threatening event depends upon the specfic illness," Dr. Coren notes. Scientists don't know exactly why dogs respond during health scares, but they can be trained as seizure assistance dogs or as warning assistants for diabetics experiencing dangerous blood sugar levels. It is the dog's sensory system and training, rather than the animal's intuition, that can save you from a life-threatening condition.
Fortunately, you don't have to be specially trained or rely on a mysterious sixth sense to know if your dog is heading for his own health challenge. The LINK AKC Smart Collar can track your dog's activity levels, offering you insight into patterns of behavior that might deviate from his normal behavior. This can help you get a jump on potential health issues keeping him from his normal, playful self and give you peace of mind.