Book: Dogs that know when their owners are coming home. Written by Rupert Sheldrake PH.D Biologist & Author. Website: sheldrake.org the website details experiments that you can take part in.
This study (1999) also involved other animal including horses, cats, parrots and the results remained the same - they know when you are coming home.
I guess if you are cruel to a pet the outcome may be different in the sense that they hide from you when they sense your return but for the testing of this experiment all the pets where bonded to their owners.
Rupert already had his Morphic Field Theory in place (see previous article) so this experiment tied nicely into that theory. Many dog owners believe that their dogs can some how sense when they are home before they have put their key in the door as the dog is waiting by the door or window. This can be confirmed if there is someone else in the house to witness it but is there any science to back this up or is it just as simple as the dog knows the sound of your car pulling into the street, the noise of your footsteps on the gravel path, maybe it is the squeak of the hinge on your gate or do dog understand time and your routine?
Rupert's study needed to rule out all of these possibilities therefore everything needed to be changed. Cameras were set up in the homes of the participants, the owners had to follow the instructions of the examiner who stayed with them and filmed the owner so that the owner didn't know what was going to happen and when it would happen. Finally the transportation to and from the home was via taxis not the owners bike or car. All the owner knew was the day that this test would take place and a rough idea of when the crew would arrive.
Each owner left the house with the film crew, got in a taxi and was taken to a random destination a few miles from their home e.g. a park or shopping centre and they had a relaxed stroll and chat with the examiner talking about their pets and what their normal day entails. Meanwhile the dog is getting filmed via the cameras in the home - the dogs appear to be milling about as normal or having a little nap on the sofa. At the time of the examiners choosing they tell the owner that they will now return back to the owners home. The owner acknowledges this and gets ready for the return. The amazing filmed results of this was that the second that the owner acknowledges the instruction of returning home their dog becomes alert and the movement starts happening immediately to either sitting up straight looking towards the door or window, getting off the sofa looking towards the door or the window or the dog goes straight to the door / window and sits there pretty much not moving just starring and waiting. The owner then gets in a taxi with the crew and travels home to be greeted by the excited dog at the window or door.
If you have your own pet camera at home why not give this a try. Obviously your experiment doesn't have to involve the same strict rules but for fun and curiosity it might be worth it. Also if you are at home wondering when your partner is due in so that you can have dinner together maybe take note of when the dog goes to the window or the door to wait as they know that your partner has decided to head home.