What the Science Says: Are Dogs Able to See Ghosts?

What the Science Says: Are Dogs Able to See Ghosts?

Author WDF Staff


Dogs have senses that are a lot more sensitive than our human senses. If you have a dog, you probably caught them staring at an empty part of the room. Some dog owners can’t help but wonder, “Can dogs see ghosts?” Can they sense something we simply aren’t equipped to? Those are some interesting questions, so it is a great thing we can rely on science for some answers.

Do ghosts exist?

The first thing we need to talk about to get a clear answer to the question “Can dogs see ghosts?” is whether ghosts actually exist. A large part of that is based on the owner’s belief. If the dog’s owner doesn’t believe ghosts exist, there is no point in further discussing this matter. The answer would be - no. Dogs can’t see ghosts because ghosts don’t exist.

This answer is backed up by science. Personal beliefs play no role in science. Numerous experiments tried proving ghosts exist, and all of them failed. Science hasn’t produced a single shred of evidence that ghosts actually exist.

beagle puppy

However, if you are a spiritual and religious person who believes in ghosts, the answer can be pretty different. Again, it is tough to prove dogs can see ghosts simply because it is impossible for us to actually test that theory. How can you prove dogs see something we can’t? Unfortunately, the burden of proving dogs can see ghosts is on those that believe ghosts exist.

Can dogs see ghosts?

If you are a part of the group that believes ghosts, spirits, or paranormal things exist and happen, it is entirely natural you want to know whether your dog might see something you might not. It would be very comforting to know your dog can see a loved one that came to visit from the afterlife. Or even better, your dog could warn you about something sinister in your room.

To be completely honest, the best possible answer to this question is - we simply don’t know. Since scientists cannot prove ghosts exist, they can’t prove dogs can see them. Dog behavior can be confusing, but the idea they can see or sense something we can is actually valid.

Signs dogs might see ghosts

Numerous dog behaviors leave many of us scratching our heads and wondering whether dogs see something we can’t. We researched this topic a bit and came to many witnessings that support the theory dogs can actually see ghosts. Here are a few examples.

Rocco and the walk-in closet

Rebecca H. from Ohio moved to a new house with her family and their family pet Rocco, the Golden Retriever, in 2012. On a popular forum, she said her dog was constantly going to her and her husband’s walk-in closet and started barking. She thought that was bizarre behavior since their dog hadn’t done anything like that in their old home. After a few months of wondering and consulting certified dog behaviorists, she still hasn’t gotten her questions answered.

bulldog on the floor

The first thing she thought was that there might be something in the wall. She thought her house might have wild animals or even termites. She called an inspector, but they couldn’t find anything. After a while, she wanted to learn a bit more about her house’s history, and she wasn’t prepared for the shock that followed. She learned that the previous owner was found in that room, and he had committed suicide.

Cuddling with a deceased family member

Terry J. had a lovely family with two adorable kids. They had a lovely Cocker Spaniel, Bella, his wife picked for their family. They lived in a beautiful New York apartment, and Bella was strongly attached to him. He often said he was Bella’s favorite. One day he went to work, just like any other working day of the week. However, it was September 11, 2001. That was the last time his family saw him.

After such a tragedy, the whole family was in complete shock and disbelief. However, something curious started to happen with Bella. In the months that followed, she would randomly start barking at the door. After that, she would jump on Terry’s favorite spot on the couch and nap there.

Is that proof dogs can see ghosts?

These two stories can leave you wondering not only about the whole spirit world but also about the dog’s senses. If you believe in ghosts, these types of dog behaviors can reaffirm your already existing belief. Based on these two stories, we would say - yes, dogs can see ghosts. More precisely, dogs can sense something, but we need more proof of what that actually is. Is it just some sort of energy or maybe an actual ghost - we might never know.

Can dogs sense things we can’t?

Absolutely. Dog’s senses are a lot sharper than ours. Their sense of smell and hearing especially. If ghosts have some sort of physical effect on their environment, chances are dogs might sense that. That might be the same case as dogs sensing an earthquake a few seconds before it happens.

dog staring

Dog’s vision is different than ours. So is their hearing, sense of smell, taste, and touch. That means they perceive the world a lot differently than we do. Dogs see better in the dark, and they can detect movement on longer distances than we can. That means they can certainly see things we cannot. However, whether they can actually see ghosts is still debatable.

In conclusion

If you ever wondered, “Can dogs see ghosts?” you are not alone. Many dog owners wonder the same thing because some of their pet’s behavior baffles them. Unfortunately, science cannot answer this question because we still can’t prove ghosts actually exist. However, hundreds upon hundreds of first-hand witnessings certainly raise a few questions and leave us confused. It’s important to know dogs have senses a lot more sensitive than ours. They perceive the world entirely differently than we do. They can see, hear, smell, and sense things we cannot, so it is not unreasonable to believe they have a sense we still haven’t discovered.

World Dog Finder team

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