Take your Dog to Work: Dogs on Ghost Hunts

(**Remember there is a zombie short story contest until July 3rd...**)

I was thrilled to see “Ghost Hunters International” using a dog on one of their expeditions, albeit short-lived. I’ve always felt that there’s a very reasonable and practical place for dogs on ghost hunts. Humans can miss the signs of activity, dogs don’t.

When I lived in California, the neighborhood dogs were our first warning before an earthquake. When I was pregnant, my head in the toilet in the morning in October 1987 when we were about to get a 6.0, it was the neighborhood dogs howling and barking incessantly that made the hairs rise on my neck. I crawled to my “safe spot” in the crappy old second-story apartment just in time. They didn’t steer me wrong. Each time an aftershock came, they let me know with their cacophony of yipping. When I was done with checking the apartment building's gas main and the neighbors' safety, I went and gave the dogs over the fence some hot dog bits.

When I was growing up at Aspen Grove, our family dogs were the first warning sign when something was in the room with us. Their reactions were amazing, from hair standing up down their backs, tail between their legs, growling and barking at the unseen, to rushing from the room and hiding under beds. One time, they were so upset, they appeared to try to lunge and grab at something, one of them suddenly squealing as if he were kicked. He rushed out of the house with the other dog and cowered under the barn for several days!

If a dog won’t venture into a space, I know it’s a hot spot. If a dog stares at the unseen, I know it’s telling. If the dog refuses to enter, I know it’s bad.

Dogs may not always be practical on hunts, such as in someone’s residence where they don’t wish to have a dog or a public building, but when they can be used, they should be used. I’d prefer a dog to a thermometer and EMF meter any day—much more reliable. You can walk them through the site first and then try unleashing them, ignoring them so they’re not focused on attention, and then wander yourself around the place and see if the dog tries to come between you and something else. If he’s acting protective, take note of it. The only time a dog will lead you astray is if he finds a scent he likes more or a moving rat that’s more entertaining.

Consider taking one on your next hunt. They’re not just man’s best friend, they’re also his very own ghost meter!


  1. I take 3 of my dogs with me to work everyday (I leave the herd of tiny ones at home) and yesterday I had them outside in the play area and I was upfront in the clinic when one of the girls heard that we supposed to be getting hit with 60 mph wind and rain within 15-20 minutes. I ran in the back and BLUE, my deaf Great Dane Mix was barking like crazy! I got everyone inside and 10 minutes later we got hit with the storm! Yep, I trust that dog over everything else. I tell people if he doesn't like someone, neither do I! (He loves almost everyone!) Oops! see how I go on and on about him! Sorry, I just can't stop! I do write about him alot on my blog! Check out his winter pics!
    He's SO Adorable!
    and yeah, I'd DEFINITELY take HIM if I went on a ghost hunt (and make YOU come with me too!)LOL!

  2. most critters are ideal living warning systems, not just dogs alone...

    in my wip, i have a cat that plays a significant part in the tale

    my current pup, a sheltie, is kind of a wuss, methinks cuz he's tiny, not yet 9 lb, but i love him anyway, and am sure he'll get more brave as he ages :)

  3. Cindi;
    I would so love to hunt with you 2!!

    Laughing Wolf;
    Our family cat, Pierre, was a sharp one when it came to paranormal stuff, but instead of hissing and getting mad, he'd jump and run from the room so fast, his back paws would skid on the wood floors. We knew when he did that he was trying to save his own ass and we better leave equally fast.

  4. Blue looks like a fine dog.

    My pup, Scout, is always on alert. I can tell a lot about the environment by paying attention to her.

    Plus, you just never know when a squirrel or something might try to gain the upper hand. Ever vigilant. Ever safe.


  5. i don't think teddy is into ghosts. when she is in the house she is usually sound asleep and ignoring everything. or maybe her snoring just chases everything away. she sure can snore! it might just be hotter and dryer here than it is at your home. we have been in the 90's nonstop. i HATE it. happily the world cup is on and i am watching all the games so it is a bit of a distraction from the awful weather!

  6. From my experiences with my dogs, I know that they have seen things around my house that I haven't. Their strange behavior and growling down an empty hall, gives me the creeps. Whenever I'm not feeling good, my chihuahua, Booger, will lay next to me. He is not snuggler unless he knows you are not well or sad. I just love him. I hope they use dogs more on future hunts. They have such a keen sense for seeing and knowing things we can't.

  7. Pangs;
    You better watch it or I'm going to sneak and lure Scout away! Now that pup is just perfection!!! Yeah, I would trust that pup with my welfare. Oh, but be sure you don't feed her any cigars like the one in your profile photo...

    Yeah, my indoor thermometer that digitally tells me the outside temperature says "100" at 11 am which is kind of cool for June, but of course the humidity is probably 3%. The sun here is the thing that'll kill you. I feel like an ant on an anthill with some mean kid using a magnifying glass to burn me. I live pretty much like a vampire in the summer here. Poor Teddy. She won't be a ghost watch dog, but I bet if a squirrel was in the house, she'd be all over that...

  8. Julie;
    You know, after my two old dogs died, I never got another one cause it's like kids. You just cringe to think of starting all over again training them in the basics and it's so freaking hot here, I would want them inside and someone anal retentive I know would not allow that, so I have avoided the argument. But, I would love to take a dog on a hunt and one of yours sounds like a good option. Of course, I guess they can't go on our next hunt, huh? I don't think the hotel would appreciate that, although I sure would love to see their reaction to the indian wellspring in the basement!

  9. We used to call him "Scaredy Cat" (well earned)

  10. Pangs:
    Scout looks like a GREAT dog!
    Almost big enough to play with Blue! I bet it would be love at first sight!

    Laughing Wolf:
    I totally agree about the cats! I think they are even MORE aware of the unseen! My cat Boo (who has passed on) used to stop, sit up and make this weird "er" "er" sound that gave me the spooks and sent all the dogs into a tizzy!

  11. Cindi;
    I love Blue! Now, that's a perfect family pup with what looks like a great attitude. Your cat sounded like a very smart and sensitive feline.

  12. Good recommendation, Sharon. One of my guys, Eldobar, a beyond sensitive McNab, is good at finding ley lines, so who's to say why more ghost investigators do not utilise man's best friend in their sleuthing procedures? Kinda reminds me of this Police ditty. Ah, yes, 1980 ~ (•8-D

  13. Bror;
    Brilliant pup! Our pups were early warning systems when I was a kid. If we had to be alone at night, we'd bring them inside to sit with us. If they acted hinky, we'd take off for another room. I remember once rushing from the room when I got goosebumps and my Collie/German Shepherd "King" started snapping and growling hair on end, and he looked like he was tugging at someone's pant leg that wasn't there. When I rushed to the other room, he let out a howl like he'd been kicked and rushed to the door. I let him out. He was hysterical. Well, so was I, actually. I went with him!

  14. My dog would probably love to give the fire-hydrant a break for awhile. To piss on a ghost--what more could a dog ask for?

  15. Gabriel;
    Your pup would piss on a ghost? He better not turn his back on it...


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