Kubrick & Hitchcock's Mom
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
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Photo Submissions 33 Times in 24 Posts
Michelle, I have heard that dogs can definitely sense or smell disease. I've also heard many times that when their owner becomes pregnant, dogs tend to become protective and more gentle towards that person. It's all very speculative, but I do think that animals must have some sort of sense of this though I don't think it's necessarily some super sense, more like how observant they are and possibly some sort of smell we can't pick up on. I don't think this is only with this breed, though... I've seen the same thing in cats.
More than anything I believe it's like a revolutionary thing. Dogs (and cats) have been domesticated for thousands of years and they have had to learn to pick up on when we're sick or one of their pack members is sick or, for example, when a woman is pregnant - thus adding to their pack number - because they are dependent on that pack for survival... it's a revolutionary need. Any minor changes in behavior, I believe, can be very obvious to them. They probably don't know what exactly is wrong, only that SOMETHING is wrong.
There was this really awesome program on Discovery the other day - I can't remember the name of it - about dogs and how they have learned to read our every day signals because they depend on these signals for their survival. One example they showed is they did this experiment on Chimps where they had two covered cups. They showed the chimp a treat and put it under one of the cups. The chimp would then have to choose a cup and it would, of course, choose the one with the treat. They did the same experiment with the cups but did NOT show the chimp the treat beforehand. Instead, they would look at the chimp and then look at the cup and point then look back at the chimp. What happened? The chimp did NOT choose the correct cup. It didn't understand the human behavior of "pointing." They repeated the same exact experiment but using dogs and 88% of the time the dogs chose the correct cup. All this to say that dogs have learned to read human cues and to understand what we mean. And I do think this applies to more subliminal clues as well and ones that not even we can understand but that they do.
LOL, that was long, but I do think it's a very interesting idea!
Last edited by Lina; 10-13-2008 at 07:45 PM.