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Can Dogs Sense Danger – How to React?

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Do dogs have superpowers? Can they sense something we cannot? Can dogs sense danger? Well, the short answer is yes. We know by now that dogs are intelligent creatures. They are more aware of the environment and surroundings than us. Did you know that dogs can pick up what is going through the minds of their owners? And that is not their only superpower.

Dogs can sense paranormal activity. That is one of the reasons why dogs bark before earthquakes and during thunderstorms.

Dogs are men’s best friends. And we do not know the full scope of how dogs can protect us. They act protective and sense looming danger, no matter in what form it comes. From burglars to a tornado, danger can come in many different ways. And our dogs will inform us before it happens. SF Weekly has a great write up on using invisible fence dog collars to keep your pet safe.

Here are a couple of things dogs can sense and how they warn us.

Hearing Different Things

Dogs can hear higher-pitched noises than us. That is how they hear things from afar. They also hear at a further distance than we do. Our hearing range falls between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz. Compare now that to dogs. They can hear sounds starting at 64 hertz on up, and go past the human range to the higher registers at 44 kilohertz.

This is how dogs hear footprints of people coming to the home. This is how they hear us coming home as well and get excited. And they can even differentiate sounds from different humans.

Sniffing Through Trouble

Not only do they hear things, but dogs can also sense trouble through their sniffing ability. They are excellent sniffers. Their nose has millions of olfactory receptors. There is a huge difference between dogs and humans. We are visual beings. Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell. It is the main reason they excel in police search and similar risky work where their sense of smell helps greatly.

And in the everyday life, their sense of smell and “sixth sense” can tell if someone is good or bad. When it comes to guard dogs, it is best that you keep them on leash. No matter the training, they can get overprotective and impulsive. If they sense a bad person, they might react.

Barking For Warning

Most people get nervous when the dog barks. But it is their instinct and their way of communication. Barking is the first obvious sign that something got out of hand. If you live in a home with a backyard, dogs bark when people pass by. They consider other humans and dogs invaders to their territory.

In the beginning, dogs might not bark. But when they get comfortable in an environment and consider their territory, they will start protecting it. Barking is their way to alert the owner of possible intruders.

And when your dog barks to communicate with other dogs, you will easily notice the difference. The dog will act less alert and more outgoing.

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Growling When Threatened

When dogs growl, take it as a sign that something bad might happen in the future. Dogs rely heavily on communication with sound to express their feelings. Growl is the easiest way for dogs to show their feelings. And in this case, those feelings include fear and aggression.

Dogs can growl at strangers. And that is their way of saying “Go away”. If you see your dog growling at people or other dogs, assess the situation and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Pay Attention to Their Way of Communicating

Dogs can sense and hear things better than us. Their sense of smell and hearing has developed more than ours. Pay attention to their communication. They can sense upcoming weather changes or outdoor noises such as car alarms.

Because of their genetics, dogs can survive in the wild. They take on cues not obvious to humans and act on them.

When you notice your dog acts strangely, make sure everything goes smoothly. If something is out of order, fix it, and then reassure your dog. Make him feel secure and relieved.

The Science Behind Dog’s Sense of Danger

We talked about how dogs can sense different things, including danger, intruders, trouble, and sounds. But what is the science behind it? How do they do it?

Well, when it comes to weather conditions, it is simple science. Dogs can sense the barometric pressure drop and any shift in the static electric field. And a change in air pressure and electricity indicates adverse weather.

Besides, dogs can hear the sounds of thunder of storms before we can hear them. Dogs can also detect earthquakes, something we have noticed for hundreds of years.

And there is a simple explanation for that. Seismologists believe that dogs can sense the electrical signal produced by the movement of rocks beneath the earth. For example, when the big earthquake hit Japan in early 2011, people say they witnessed crazy behavior from dogs and other animals just before it hit. There are also similar examples with other earthquakes around the world.

And in terms of sensing danger, dogs have high sensitivity to pheromones. These are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the secreting individual. Pheromones impact the behavior of the receiving individual. And there are different types, including alarm pheromones, food trail, sex, and many more.

Dogs sense the intention of a person we meet by sensing their subtle facial expressions, body language, and pheromones.

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How to Tell Your Dog Senses Danger

Danger can come in many different forms and shapes. Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell and hearing, making them able to warn us about upcoming danger.

Generally, when they sense danger, dogs act in an unusual way. They act hyperactively, they shake, or they hide at an unusual time and place. These are signs you have to pay attention to. But what will definitely grab your attention is their persistent barking.

Remember, your canine friend will try to signal you of any impending danger. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Growling
  • Standing in an alert pose
  • Persistent barking
  • Jumping up
  • Whining
  • Standing in a guarding pose
  • Restlessness
  • Running away
  • Erratic behavior

Can You Train Your Dog to Sense Danger?

Yes, some trainers can easily train dogs to sense danger. Working dogs have different roles in our society. And some dogs get training for sensing danger.

Before you can start training your dog, you should look for signs if he picks up on potential danger. And of course, you want to avoid any danger that your dog has sensed.

We recommend training with a professional for this type of behavior. But you can easily help your dog in such situations as well. When your dog alerts you for an upcoming danger, do not discourage the behavior. Try to look like a gentle and attentive dog owner. It will pay dividends big time.

Some people say dogs have a sixth sense. But that is not the case. Simply said, dogs have heightened versions of all of the other five senses. They can pick up on minor changes in the environment, hear small sounds from down the street, and more. But most importantly, dogs can learn to associate these signs and sounds with certain actions.

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