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Extrasensory perception in dogs

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Timsup2nothin, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    Warning: This is purely anecdotal. I already know that.

    So I just ate a bag of candy. Yes, I realize the bag contained 3.5 servings, not one, I can read nutrition information as well as the next guy, thanks. Wait, we're off track here...

    Anyway, I set the empty foil pouch on my desk and went about doing whatever I was doing. This pouch weighs less than an ounce, for sure. It slid off the desk and fell to the carpeted floor. I cannot imagine that it made any measurable sound. Yet one of my huskies, who was across the room with absolutely no clear sight line, immediately abandoned her training for the Iditarod (ie, she was asleep) and hustled over to investigate.

    Other than an extra sense of which we have no knowledge how can this behavior be explained?
     
  2. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Can't dogs hear more wavelengths than humans?
     
  3. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    Yes, but I don't see how this little pouch hitting the carpet made any significant noise, high pitched or otherwise. I think she has some sort of "food radar."
     
  4. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Chieftain

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    IDK about Huskies, but I do know that dogs in general are in their relation with humans very differing from other animals, because it appears that in their own "dog" evolution, during their domestication, they learned to understand human body language.

    So perhaps the foil pouch was not the trigger but you were the trigger.
    Your huskie knew you were eating, knew you stopped, was sharp on getting the crumbs... full on alert

    Dogs are also very attentive/opportunistic/sneaky when it is about food.
    When you put some food somewhere that they would like to snatch, but they know you can see that.... and they do nothing.... just wait and see what happens if at the end of the day, lights out, it gets darker and darker and the dog decides that it is time to check whether you can still see what happens: he will go for the food. Also when you have trained in a not too strict way that they may only start eating after giving a standard command.
    (the three dogs in my house living proof of that :))
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Yes, of course they can. That's why dog whistles were invented. Dogs also have a keen sense of smell and use that in all kinds of ways to keep track of what's going on around them.

    Cats are similar, btw. Maddy always knows when I'm doing something I don't want her to know about.

    Her hearing is somewhat selective, though. She always hears me getting a bottle of milk from the fridge (cow's milk for me, not cat milk for her), but she doesn't seem able to hear me yelling at her in the same room, to stop that <censored> scratching on the furniture (unless it's her own cat tree).
     
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  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    My parents' cats will head to the kitchen (where their food bowls are) unerringly, like guided missiles, upon any activity there at all,
     
  7. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Chieftain

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    I think an empty foil pack falling to the floor could easily generate enough of a puff of air to put the scent up a dog's nose, across a room, in a couple of seconds. It's hard for us to even conceptualize dogs' sense of smell. They smell in stereo, they can control the air flow in each nostril separately and distinguish odors in each nostril separately, and they have something like 50 times as many particle receptors in their noses as we do. I've heard veterinarians say that dogs can smell time. Not thyme; time. I don't even know what that means. :lol: So I totally believe that he didn't need to hear it falling to the floor because he could smell it falling to the floor.
     
  8. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    This isn't relevant I know, but I heard lately of a theory that man and dog evolved together with the result that man lost most of his sense of smell. (I myself know of one or two men who quite obviously have no sense of smell at all.)

    But anyway, what's all this about extrasensory perception? What does that even mean? What sense does a dog, or a person, use in order to be aware of stuff that they aren't aware of?
     
  9. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    "Smelling time" is a catchy phrase for the fact that while you might walk into your house and be able to say "hey, someone cooked fish here" your dog could tell you how long ago the fish was cooked and whether it was worth the effort to look for scraps or was too late. They can also identify when you are due home from work by recognizing how 'faded' your scent is and comparing that to how faded it got before you came home from previous work days.

    As to the foil pack puffing...I'm sure she knew when I opened the pack and knew all along that there was candy afoot, but she hadn't made any sort of move for it. I'm known for hogging such things for myself, and with her steep Iditarod training regimen she doesn't walk across the room for anything but a good prospect. I can't think of any way that smell could convey "hey, I'm off the desk and on the floor," but maybe...

    @Hrothbern...I don't think that I had reacted at all. I saw it slip off the desk, but I was willing to let it lie on the floor until I was getting up for some reason, at which point I planned to grab it and take it to the trash. If Meeka hadn't come charging over to investigate there was no particular rush to get it back onto the desk. I might have made a sudden look down when it fell I guess...
     
  10. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I heard they did it by how hungry they were feeling.

    Still, I don't suppose that would work if someone else fed them.

    Look, there's a lot of potential PhDs just sitting waiting for someone to claim them, here.

    But never mind sniffer dogs. How about sniffer bees?

    They don't have the range of smells that a dog has, of course. But you can train them in 5 minutes for one particular scent.

    And they don't need taking for walks or need their poo picked up after them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  11. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    My dogs know when it is breakfast or dinner time, no mistake, but that doesn't really correlate with my gf coming home from work. They know when she is due, and trip out when she stops at the store or something on the way home. I come and go at odd intervals so that effect doesn't happen with me.
     
  12. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Could've kicked up some dust from the carpet or something?
     
  13. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    Well, dust from the carpet kicking up by my desk would be hard to differentiate from dust from the carpet she was sleeping on, as far as I know. The house isn't big enough to have regional dust variety.

    Food radar, I'm tellin' ya. It's food radar.
     
  14. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    This is the answer of course. Dogs are acutely aware of food in the vicinity, even if they're pretending not to be interested. And of course, they learn from experience when the pack leader is finished eating and it's time for the beta's to feed. That's how my dogs have always acted. I would just suggest that in future you leave one remaining piece for them to find as a reward.
     
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  15. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    That all makes sense, except for the part about how she knew it hit the floor. I can finish off a hundred packs of various and sundry and drop the empty container on my desk without drawing anyone into a trip across the room. This pack happened to teeter on the edge and fall off, but I can't figure where any ordinary (even dog level extraordinary) sense would have told her that happened. There's no sight line. The sound of an empty foil pack falling two and a half feet and landing on carpet seems too soft. And while I have great respect for how well dogs can smell things out I can't see identifying "on the floor" from "on the desk" from across the room.

    My sister suggests that dogs read their owner's mind, and when it slipped off the edge I broadcast the event with my exasperated thought.
     
  16. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    It was the noise. Crinkly things like grasses or clinky things like keys make huge amounts of noise if you listen to them through ultrasonic microphones. Foil packets combine aspects of both.
     
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  17. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I can go with that. :D
     
  18. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    I was going to scoff at this, but I took an equivalent packet by the edge and fanned it a little. It does flex with a very distinctive sound, and I can accept that it may have flexed when it hit the carpet if it hit edge on. You may have the answer here, though I still like the "dog read your mind" theory and will be watching for further evidence.
     
  19. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Smarticus Pantsidae

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    You, the alpha, were finished eating. Now it's time for her, the beta, to eat if there was any left. She was acutely aware of you eating the candy, don't worry, and when you were finished, it was her turn.

    Easy peasy. :)
     
  20. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    I just tried dropping a small unfolded atm receipt from waist height onto a rug. I could hear it landing albeit barely audible but still audible none the less.

    Tim, have you tried repeating the scenario? Maybe dropping a wrapper when you finish eating something versus dropping one when you're not eating. I'd predict the former will result in more dog visits even though it can hear them all the same.
     

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