Dogs feature in folklore and superstitions.
Traditionally they have an 'uncanny' side and it is believed that they are sensitive to the supernatural.
Howling dogs, especially at night, were believed to be omens of death. There are other methods of prediction too, such as dogs scratching holes in the ground.
Dogs are supposed to be able to see ghosts and sense supernatural beings, which humans cannot.
Shakespeare and other early writers viewed howling dogs as an omen of evil (and not necessarily death).
A 17th Century example : 'That dogs ... by their howling portend death and calamities is plain by history and experience' A. Ross, Arcana Microcosmi, 1651
Dog behaviour was watched for signs of good or bad luck. To be followed by a strange dog, or for one to come into your house, was considered lucky. Quote: 'Good fortune was predicted for one of my sisters, because a strange dog followed her when she was a babe in arms' Grantham Journal 1878
There is also a belief that if your own dog will not follow you, then misfortune will follow.
Sometimes the appearance of a dog is not welcome. It is considered to be very unlucky if a dog comes between bride and groom during the wedding ceremony, or it crosses the path of a funeral.
Psychic Dogs : Personal experiences
1) Many years ago, whilst I was still half-living with my parents, we had a male GDS named Prince. I had a strong bond with him.
I would often arrive at my parents house unannounced, but they always knew that I was coming because of Prince's behaviour.
About half an hour before I arrived he would put his paws up at the front window and look out. He would refuse to come away until I arrived.
There was no pattern to my visits, and they were often last minute decisions.
Was he psychic?
2) Boris, my male greyhound, also knows when we are coming home.
Our house is set back from the road behind some other houses.
Just before we turn to approach our house, we will stand still and silent. A moment later we can hear him greeting us!
How does he know it is us? Psychic dog?
3) One of our neighbours has a small terrier. If the telephone rings he will ignore ... unless it is her son phoning, in which case he becomes very excited! Explain that!