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  • Writer's pictureAshley Christiano

Dogs and Magic: A Whirlwind Tour Through History

Cats as magical familiars and spiritual beings are a common trope, but have you ever wondered about the relationship between dogs and magic? From medieval Europe to ancient Egypt, and even in Hinduism, dogs have been associated with magic and witchcraft in a variety of ways. Let's take a dog walk through history and see how dogs have been used and portrayed in different cultures and beliefs about magic.

Dogs and Magic Around The World

a poodle image in the style of ancient egypt
Are poodles magic?

  • Medieval Europe: Back in the day, dogs were often seen as devilish creatures, who accompanied witches on their broomstick rides to witches' sabbats. Some folks even believed that dogs were transformed witches, who had taken the form of a dog to escape persecution. Woof! As somebody with a dog, I can tell you that Louise does not like when I practice reiki on her, so not sure she'd make a good familiar.

  • Native American Folklore: In Native American folklore, dogs were seen as spiritual guides and protectors. They were thought to have the power to see things that humans couldn't, making them valuable allies for hunters and healers. These dogs were like seeing-eye dogs on steroids! They could even help guide the the way to the afterlife.

  • Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptians revered dogs as sacred animals and associated them with Anubis, the god of the afterlife. They were often depicted in art and were mummified and buried with their owners to join them in the afterlife. Talk about loyalty! My husband would 100% be buried with Louise.

  • Hinduism: In Hinduism, the dog is associated with the god Bhairava, who protected roads and guided travelers. In some parts of India, it was believed that witches could transform into dogs, and dogs were thought to be able to see spirits and other supernatural beings. Sometimes their liquid eyes do convey something preternatural. Especially when they want food or tummy rubs.

Dogs and Their "Magical" Perception and Sensing

A dog sniffing a pregnant woman's belly
Can dogs predict pregnancy?

Can Dogs Predict Pregnancy?

Despite their keen sense of smell, there is no scientific evidence that dogs can predict pregnancy. However, some people believe that their dogs can sense a pregnancy due to changes in a woman's behavior, scent, or diet. So I guess the answer is, kind of? They don't know you're pregnant, but do know something is different.

Can Dogs Understand Human Language?

While dogs are highly social animals and have evolved to understand human cues, their ability to comprehend human language is limited. They can learn certain commands and respond to specific words, but they don't truly understand the meaning of human language like we do. Dogs use their keen sense of smell to pick up on changes in a person's body language, tone of voice, and other nonverbal cues. It's all about communication, baby!

To Woof It Up

Dogs have had a fascinating relationship with magic and witchcraft throughout history, and we even think of the sensing and perceptive abilities as almost magical today. From devilish creatures to spiritual guides, their role has varied depending on the culture and time period.

Although they're skilled at communicating and understanding human cues, there's no scientific evidence that they can predict pregnancy or truly comprehend human language. But they sure are cute, am I right?

Curious about cats and their psychic abilities? Read more on that here!


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