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Of Wolf and Man: How to Read Someone’s Mind… Like a Dog!

Many people claim to possess psychic abilities that allow them to perceive things about others, which appear to stem from their intuitive powers. During a recent discussion I had with a talented (and lovely) psychic friend, she told me that in order for someone with psychic abilities to be able to receive “impressions” from another individual, it requires the person being whose mind is being read to sort of “open up.” In other words, a sort of mental connection must occur, where the individual is literally willing to be accessible via the intuitive abilities of another.

This may sound like supernatural mumbo-jumbo, but there could in fact be some scientific basis for why intuition seems to work best when somebody is open to having their senses probed. Here’s where it gets interesting though: of all places, evidence of this may in fact stem from recent studies with dogs, which seemed to exhibit the ability to “read people’s minds.”

A University of Florida study led by researcher Monique Udell found that both wolves and domestic dogs are able to “beg” for food from humans, indicating their ability to behave based on the sorts of reactions humans display (in this case, awarding them with food). “They are therefore likely born with the ability, since wolves would not have had much practice, which the typical pet dog gains by begging for treats during dinner and at other times,” the report reads. However, with more practice, dogs and wolves are able to get better at what the researchers call “canine telepathy.”

This instance, though more observable in a lab setting, indicates only one of the ways that dogs and other animals seem to be able to read their owners in ways that come close to exceeding the ranges of normal perception. Consider how, under many circumstances, dogs seem to be able to “predict” when their master will arrive home, and will appear waiting at the window or pawing at the door before the individual in question has even arrived. This is where another interesting parallel emerges, courtesy of our aforementioned study: the researchers state that, “These results suggest that dogs’ ability to follow human actions stems from a willingness to accept humans as social companions.” In other words, the dogs and wolves that are more willing to accept companionship of humans are also better able to “read” those people’s actions. Might this be likened to opening a mental “channel” or “pathway” of sorts, resulting in the ability to sense things about that person on a deeper level?

And what about humans? For illustrative purposes, let’s consider something like Facebook, where users may set their profiles to where others can’t view their homepage unless they’ve sent or accepted a friend request from that individual. Even on a solely interpersonal level, we use the expression “breaking the ice” when we talk about getting to know a person before a comfortable conversation can ensue. When my friend Anya (the psychic) and I were introduced, it took her a few minutes before she described that “the flood gates opened” and she was able to effectively perceive things about me (I’ll admit, I was more apprehensive at the outset of the reading Anya performed, and about midway through, once we’d begun cutting up and laughing, her success rate with discerning things about my personal life did seem to improve). She described this as me “opening up to her,” and that after I had done so, she was able to detect impressions more easily.

So could one of the interactive components of the intuitive process actually be friendship and camaraderie? Perhaps so… and if the University of Florida study mentioned earlier is any indication of how this occurs, we might be well advised when we’re attempting to read people’s minds to try (dare I say) doing it like the doggies do. Maybe man’s best friend is onto something after all… and if nothing else, I know the next time Fido starts begging for a biscuit, I won’t look at him quite the same!


Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.
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