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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Havanese 6th sense

OK all - hubby and I just got home from dinner where we discovered that we both noticed something very strange and never discussed it before tonight. I said that I would come home and post so that we could see if any other have owner has had the same experience.

Seamus, our 2 y/o hav has always been drawn to any "boo-boo's" within our human family. He will sniff and sniff and not leave it alone. Alsways something we said "thank you Shea-Shea" for but never gave much attention to. Well many of you know we just lost our lab, what you may not know is that it was a Brain tumor that surfaced suddenly and had taken him in less than 1 week. We thought, no other simptoms..seemed perfect until the horrible night filled with seizures. Well we now think differently...we both noticed but did not connect that Seamus had been "sniffing" Ozzie for a couple of months prior. It started slowly and progressed until it was sooo bad hubby remined me that I was saying to Seamus "FOR GOD SAKE, WILL YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!" He had his nose PRESSED to Ozzie at all times. I had forgotten or did not put 2 & 2 together until hubby said it.

Our question, has any other person here had an experience similar??? Was this a sixth sense or something else. We have heard of dogs "sensing" an illness or disease. Do you think this is what it is and if so is it within the breed? Thanks all - Michelle
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:42 PM
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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!

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Last edited by Lina; 10-13-2008 at 08:45 PM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:43 PM
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This is something that has happened with dogs of all breeds. They are able to smell something different in some sicknesses. There have been studies of it, and (I'm interested in cancer treatments) someone was doing experiments a year or so ago, training dogs to "alert" to bladder-cancer cells in people. They were having some success with it. You know that service dogs can alert their people to epilepsy seizures ahead of time, and diabetics, too. It has to do with chemicals or hormone smells that are given off.

I don't think ALL dogs do this, but it isn't too uncommon, either.

If your dog ever started sniffing me consistently and persistently, you'd better believe I'd head in to the doctor and insist on a thorough check up!!

Aren't our pets amazing?

Sheri and Tucker
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:53 PM
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I too have heard very recently about dogs detecting cancer by being able to smell it...so interesting.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:59 PM
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I've heard about this too. My daughter will say to her dogs "where's the baby" and they will go and smell her belly. She didn't give them any signals, they just sort of knew where the baby was.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:00 PM
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McKenna is always attracted to any of our boo-boo's. She sniffs, licks etc. Almost like she's trying to help us heal. I've always told myself that if she pays extraordinary attention to any particular wound or body part, I'll get it checked out only because she seems so sensitive and attentive to wounds or bruises.


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:11 PM
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Oh one more thing I just read in a holistic pet column was that dog saliva can work as an antiseptic and you should let them lick your wounds...kind of gross but very cool!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
Michelle, Seamus's mom
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Sheri - hubby & I both said the same thing - if Seamus keeps sniffing us we are heading straight to the docs!!!!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:31 PM
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I've always found that type of behavior really interesting also. If we could only understand what animals could tell us.

Lina, that program you're referring to was recently on the National Geographic Channel and I found it amazing.
There was a story about a Doberman named Donnie that put his toys into very specific groups and shapes. He would make lines of monkeys, lines of dogs, lines of balls, etc. He would make straight parallel lines in odd numbers. He would turn all the toys so the figures would be facing up. He would arrange them so they would be holding hands or hugging, specifically, on purpose.
They had a animal behavior specialist, Dr. Smuts, from the U of Michigan come to observe him. I would have loved to have heard that phone call! "Hi, I have this rescue dog that makes shapes out of his stuffed toys in the back yard."
I found that entire program fascinating.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Lina & Beverly I NEED to see that show. How long ago was it on?
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