Do Animals Have Opinions?

Clearly, a dog with a strong opinion!

You bet they do! And strong ones.

Some people still believe animals don’t have souls. Or that they can’t think. Or perceive the passage of time. Or feel emotion.

Fortunately science is disproving those old disrespectful views, but not as fast as animal communication is. If you’ve ever sought the aid of an animal communicator then you know what a vivid inner life your dog/cat/horse/fish/bird has. And yes, just like people, some have brighter personalities than others, stronger opinions, harsher views, etc. Some are very laid back about life; many are not. Some care more deeply than others. But all have an individual identity with a unique perspective and flavor.

Most of the requests I receive for animal communication have to do with some sort of problem or unresolved issue. It may be behavioral, it may have to do with health, or it may involve a lifestyle change. But, no matter which (and unless there are no options available), the person wants to know their animal’s wishes, or opinion. Yes, opinion.

Granted, your dog or horse probably doesn’t know s/he has a choice in many matters, so s/he more or less “goes along for the ride,” so to speak, even if s/he doesn’t particularly like the current situation.  But once you introduce choices s/he will usually express a strong preference.

For example, this past week I checked in on Gabriel, a male mix mutt, to see how he was feeling and faring after the loss of his only dog companion, Grace, about ten days before. After ascertaining that Gabriel was stable and making sure he understood what had happened, his person wanted me to find out if he would like another dog companion or not. She didn’t want to presume either way, and she certainly didn’t want to bring in a new dog prematurely.

Gabriel’s answer: “Yes, definitely!” (And he showed me he would prefer a female.) I had prefaced this question with first asking him how he felt about being alone, and his answer to that was even more emphatic: “I don’t like it. At all!”

After finishing the session I decided to check the notes I had made on Gabriel when I spoke with him several months prior. I just wanted to see for myself how his current state of mind compared with his previous one. To my surprise, there I found the following notation:

Gabriel shows me he just doesn’t want to be left alone … ever! This has been a problem before. He hates to feel alone.

Gabriel was a rescue, as a mature adult, and apparently loneliness or living alone had been a part of his previous experience. It is no wonder that he now has a very strong opinion about having a companion.

This is just one example of how clear an animal can be in his or her opinion. Ask what food they prefer (one old guy told me sweet potatoes, which his people then confirmed was true!), or who they like best, or what bedtime story they like, and just be ready. You may be quite surprised at the emphatic response.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by gozencowgirl: Do Animals Have Opinions?

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    Richard Lea said,

    Sorry, I don’t quite follow, are you saying (paragraph two) that science is disproving that animals do have souls or that they don’t have? Either way, that sounds pretty amazing. I’d be grateful if you could let me know where I can find the details of these findings.

    • 4

      Thanks, Richard, for posting. I actually meant that science is beginning to prove that animals can “think,” not that they have souls. Sorry that was not clear. Books like “Dogs Who Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home,” and works by Temple Grandin, as well as many books by trainers, give evidence that animals do have a thinking process. I’m sorry I can’t quote studies, but I’ll bet you can find some online if you dig a bit. And I personally do believe animals have souls too, based on my communications, but I will not try to argue that point or prove it to anyone, as I respect everyone’s individual beliefs. And I’m sure there are no studies proving that point, as I don’t think there are for proving humans have souls either. Hope that helps!

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