Team Ineka

Intuition vs. Images

Intuition vs. Images

By Al Magaw

We have all met those people, often women, who have an uncanny intuition for reading other people,  developing trust or reservations almost instantly. It’s uncanny how often people who have a good intuition make a correct assessment. After making many mistakes in my life, some serious, some not so serious, I’ve learned to trust my own faint semblance of intuition more than I used to. I realise now that the slight feeling of apprehension that I had felt in various situations was closer to the truth than what my brain, while weighing the more  obvious evidence, evidence gained through the normal senses, had figured it was.  How this works, I have no idea, but there are few arguments that would dispute that there is such a thing as intuition.

Dogs, and other animals, have developed a method of communication that uses no sounds, no motions, and no visible clues as to how it works. It’s very mysterious, and there is very little hard scientific evidence available to confirm it, yet virtually every pet owner that is close to their pet has stories of how their dog, cat, horse, etc, has shown a remarkable ability to know what it’s owner, with no apparent signal being given, is going to be doing or wants from his pet. There are some, including this author, that believe dogs communicate through their ability to read and send images – a question that presents itself to me is this, “Is our intuition linked in some way to an animal’s ability to communicate through images”? There are certainly some demonstrable comparisons.

“Gramma” insists that someone is a bad person after meeting them for the first time and only for a few moments at that. It’s a scenario that is common enough and accurate enough to get a laugh.

We’ve all seen or heard of the normally friendly dog that all of it’s life had greeted everyone with a wagging tail, that suddenly wouldn’t let a stranger out of their vehicle. One of my own dogs was normally a wuss in his day to day life, friendly to everyone, yet one day when a pickup drove into the yard with two men in it, he objected to one of the men in the truck. “Ozzie” didn’t mind that the driver got out of the truck and came to the door, but he insisted the passenger not set foot on the ground. “Ozzie” was a Shropshire terrier, all black, with large, very white teeth, and with teeth showing and the hair on his back all bristled up, no one was going to argue with him. Why did Ozzie object to the passenger and not the driver? It couldn’t have been the truck or he would have objected to both men. Was the man in the truck imaging some sort of harm?

A lady I know, had one of her Alaskan Huskies chained in the back of her pickup when she stopped to give a hitchhiker a ride. The man was no sooner in the pickup than the woman realized there was something wrong with him, an intuition that the man could be a threat. The sliding rear window was open, and somehow the big dog, “Zeus”, hampered by being tied in the back of the pickup, was able to wiggle in through the open sliding rear window and plant himself firmly between passenger and driver.

In all of the above cases there was no reasonable, no discernible, reason to come to the conclusion that they came to, dog, Gramma or lady driver, yet we have to assume there was some sort of communication before any of them could come to the conclusion that they did. Does intuition and silent, image based communication come from the same source, the same instinct?  Does the evidence of other inherited instincts from our animal fore-bearers also include the ability, though faded, to understand images coming from a fellow human or some other creature? Is the dog’s heightened awareness a super strong intuition? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but the evidence causes me to ask them.

We rely so much on eyesight, hearing, and touch, that we’ve lost much of what it takes to understand other possible ways of communicating. Because we don’t understand something, or can’t see, hear, or feel it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t so.

Do you have a remarkable story about one of your dogs? Contact us at We would love to hear from you.

Tags: Al Magaw | Robert Forto | Michele Forto | Iditarod | Team Ineka | Dog Training Denver | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Duluth Dog Works | Minnesota Dog Works


Al Magaw is a musher from Salmo, BC. Al keeps a medium sized kennel of 20 – 45 alaskan huskies as well as several pet dogs of various breeds. Al has been training and racing for the last 33 years. Before becoming involved with sled dogs, Al, along with his family, kept and competed with horses for many years. Al can be reached through his website at Al is a guest blogger for Denver Dog Works and can be reached through our website at

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