Although this is a personal topic and will depend on what you believe about the afterlife, there is quite a bit of literature and research about a dog's ability to sense the supernatural. Although there may not be actual scientific proof, it is possible a dog can sense the supernatural.
Signs of a Dog Sensing the Supernatural
If you do believe in the afterlife and a dog's ability to sense the supernatural, there are a few common signs you can look out for if your dog is sensing a presence you cannot see. Take note if your dog is staring intently at a certain spot. Perhaps they are staring into a corner or peering up at the ceiling. This may indicate they are seeing something you cannot.
Your dog may also bark, whine, growl, snarl, cry, or whimper if they see something out of place...like an animal or person that should not be there. If they seem to be agitated for no reason and are barking or crying and staring at a particular spot, this may indicate there is something there.
If the spirit your dog is sensing is friendly and happy, some dogs may roll around on their backs seem as if they are playing with something when there is nothing there. Your dog may also appear as if they are interacting with someone like they would if a person was really there. Maybe they are pawing at the air or pretending like they are rubbing up against a person's leg. All of these are potential signs your dog is sensing something supernatural.
- Exposed teeth
- Attracted to or scared of certain places
- Interacting with something unseen
- Barking/crying at something
- Staring intently at one spot
History of Dogs Sensing the Supernatural
For many years, it is a common belief that both humans and dogs, plus other animals, have a special sixth sense. A sixth sense is the ability to pick up on certain clues that are not blatant to others. A sixth sense also includes the ability to see spirits and sense supernatural phenomenon. It is also a commonly-accepted notion that dogs and other animals are particularly receptive to their sixth sense and ability the sense spirits and the supernatural.
It is very likely that as long as dogs have been man's best friend and as long as cultures have believed in supernatural experiences, humans have experienced their canine friends sensing the spirit world. There are many stories that circulate on the internet that claim certain dogs have had very obvious paranormal experiences.
For instance, one family claims that their dog would stare down a long hallway - all night long - growling and snarling at something that they perceived as a threat or something bad. Every time someone would get up to see what was wrong or if there was someone in the house, they would turn on the light in the hallway and there would be nothing at the end of the hallway. Experiences like these can indicate a dog's ability to see spirits and sense the supernatural when humans cannot.
Science Behind Dogs Sensing the Supernatural
If you delve into studies and literature about the supernatural, the afterlife, and spirits, it is a widely accepted notion that the scientific community does not recognize these things as real. However, what can be agreed upon on this topic is that we still do not know much - if anything - about the supernatural, which leaves open a door to the possibility of its existence.
There is also a lot that the scientific community does not understand about dogs, as well, since there is only so much we can find out and study about them at this point. We cannot read their minds or see what they are seeing...just yet.
What science can tell us is that dogs have very keen and powerful senses, something that us humans cannot even begin to imagine. Their senses like sight, hearing, and smell allow them to pick up on various things that we cannot see or detect.
Theoretically, this could allow them to pick up on spirits and supernatural events that most humans are not able to detect with their senses. Your dog's sense of smell is about 10,000 times more powerful, their eyes can detect slight movements we cannot, and they can hear higher frequencies, making them able to hear sounds we could never be able to.
With the minimal research experiments that have been done, pet psychologist Marty Miller suggests dogs can sense spirits because they are able to detect slight changes in the atmosphere, which likely happens when there is a spirit or other supernatural entity present.
Training Dogs to Sense the Supernatural
You cannot train your dog to see spirits or tap into their sixth sense to experience the supernatural. If dogs can indeed detect and sense the supernatural, this is already an ability they have and it is not something that must be taught. Your dog uses all of their senses every day and all day long, so they will be able to pick up on changes in the atmosphere or sense if a spirit is around them at any given point.
If you want the chance of observing this special behavior, you should try and keep an eye on your dog as much as possible. Perhaps there is a certain spot on your walk route that they always bark at when you pass by, or maybe at night, they are scared to walk down a hallway or be in a certain room alone. All of these things could suggest that their behaviors are due to them sensing something they don't like or are fearful of - it could signal their ability to tap into the supernatural world around them.
How to React if Your Dog Senses the Supernatural:
Don't startle them.
Don't make any sudden sounds or movements.
Let them explore if they want to.
Remain calm, yourself.
Safety Tips for When Your Dog Senses the Supernatural:
Make sure not to scare them so they don't hurt themselves or you.
Gently and calmly settle them down if they are scared.