Have you ever had to pick up the popcorn off of the floor after basically “bouquet tossing” the bowl from getting startled during a horror flick – except it wasn’t the movie that scared you, it was your dog barking repetitively at what seemed to be nothing?
Sure, it’s scary to think that they are seeing something not visible to the human eye, but before you and your legion of raised hairs start Googling paranormal investigators in the area, there are a few things you should consider. For instance: while there is no way for dogs to tell humans that they actually see supernatural beings in that “one corner” of the house, what we do know is that they definitely have far more superior senses than we do.
Depending on a dog’s breed and age, their ears can detect frequencies up to four times greater than that of human ears – 40 to 60, 000 hertz compared to a human’s hearing capabilities of only 20 to 20,000 hertz. Humans hear in what’s called “sonic” frequencies, and anything in a higher pitch that is not detectable to a human ear is called “ultrasonic” frequencies – that’s what dogs hear.
Now, if you think that’s cool, imagine being able to have supersonic smell too. A dog’s nose is equipped with about 220 million olfactory receptors – these detect odours – while humans have only 5 to 6 million.
So if you’re salivating from getting a whiff in the air of your dinner cooking in the kitchen, imagine being able to smell dinner cooking in all the homes around you. For this reason, dogs have been used to detect explosives, drugs, and even missing people.
So, now that we know dogs have a far greater ability to hear and smell, here are a few things that may be causing your dog to bark at things you can’t see:
If your dog is barking at a wall, you may want to contact the exterminators. A family of mice might be living comfortably in your home or pigeons may be nesting in the attic.
2. Urban noises
Perhaps your dog hears another dog in the neighbourhood barking, or a smoke detector sounding off a few houses down the street.
3. Distant smells
There might be a juicy steak grilling on a barbecue nearby or smoke from a fire some houses away.
These are all just basic examples and there are probably a billion other sounds and smells that your pooch’s super senses can pick up that you can’t, so no need to get all spooked the next time your dog randomly barks at nothing out of nowhere. Until they can verbally tell us that a supernatural entity walked by, we will just have to keep reminding ourselves of this. I know I will!