BDBN 15 | Animal Communication

“You’re Not Gonna Believe This!”

Animal communication with humans seems far-fetched, but did you know that it is a possibility? Dogs can sense different things like they are telepathic. How does your dog always know when you are on your way home? There has got to be an explanation.

Anna Breytenbach, an animal communicator, believes that humans can communicate with animals using visualization. Join Doug Poynter as he shares his thoughts about this idea of talking to your dog. Discover more about Anna and Spirit the Leopard, as well as Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s research on morphic resonance. Find out more about animal communication today!

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“You’re Not Gonna Believe This!”

Welcome to another episode of Better Dog Behavior Now. I’m the owner of the business Better Dog Behavior Now located in Central Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. I specialize in solving canine behavior problems. I use positive reinforcement. I use marker and clicker training. I use yes markers if the sound of the clicker is something that makes the dog nervous, but I’m using positive reinforcement and marker training.

I am a proud member of that community. I will tell you that a lot of the folks in the positive reinforcement world don’t engage when we’re made fun of when it’s said that, “You can’t train a dog with positive reinforcement.” I read in a forum one time, some guy said, “Even Karen Pryor said that she couldn’t stop her dog from chasing a squirrel.” They said, “I can stop the dog from chasing the squirrel. I’ll just correct the dog and then it won’t chase the squirrel.” I read Karen Pryor’s book. I never saw where Karen Pryor said she couldn’t stop her dog from chasing a squirrel.

Ken Ramirez, who runs The Ranch, I believe it’s a part of Karen Pryor training, is a guy who uses positive reinforcement. He’s like me. He’s been at it longer than I have, the positive reinforcement piece. I’ve been into it for many years and he’s been at it longer than that, but he’s a crossover trainer. He learned the old traditional style of training. That’s the way I learned it as well. Once you begin to see the miracles that you can create with marker training, positive reinforcement, specifically marker training and clicker training, then it’s easy to convert.

Ken is working on a project that I think I mentioned in the last episode about conservation in Africa and teaching elephants to change their migratory patterns to stay away from poachers. He’s using this type of training and he’s doing it remotely, meaning the animals have to be rewarded when people aren’t there.

I’m not sure how he’s getting that done because it’s a huge undertaking. However, whenever anyone makes mentions that positive reinforcement or marker training is something that’s not effective or you can’t train as well with that as you can with positive punishment, corrections or eCollar training, particularly with dogs, I always point to the fact that positive reinforcement marker training was used with wild animals.

Positive reinforcement marker training is so effective that it can even be used on wild animals. Share on X

It was used, first off, at SeaWorld with dolphins. Many of the dolphins came in from the ocean. Literally, wild animals in SeaWorld could be trained to perform very precise tasks. The precision is unbelievable, given the animal. It’s not true that you can’t get what you want and get what you need with an animal with positive reinforcement, particularly dogs. Dogs are easy to train. To rely on corrections, I consider that to be intellectually lazy.

It takes more effort to figure out how to do it with positive reinforcement. I’ll grant you that. Sometimes it takes longer, but that’s been my experience, particularly when you’re changing behavior that’s not the best. If it’s done quickly, that usually means something bad has been done to the dog and the long-term effect is not what you’re trying to achieve.

At any rate, that’s what I do with my training. If there’s anything in my training that resembles a correction, it’s because I’m not good enough at the moment to think up an exercise that can change the dog’s behavior, but I always turn around and get it on the back end. At any rate, I’m dedicated to this because I see the result with the clients that I work with. Dogs that have had behavior problems and have behavior problems that someone has attempted to solve the behavior problem with traditional training methods, corrections.

What would be known in operating conditioning is positive punishment. Positive meaning adding something. Punishment meaning something that makes behavior stop. Adding a punishment that makes behavior stop, leash pops, prong collar pops, eCollar, getting zapped with, these things can stop behavior at the moment, but they don’t change behavior in the long run and sometimes make it worse. Sometimes it makes it far worse.

Many times I’m hired on the back end to come in and fix the problems that folks who’ve been overzealous with their standard training have created. I believe in it. I’ve been doing it for a while. What I always say is, “100% of the clients who are meant to be with me end up being with me.” There’s a lady that I worked with in a business Mastermind around entrepreneurship, structuring a business and that’s what she used to say. “You’ll get 100% of the clients that you’re meant to get.”

I don’t typically get clients who don’t value what I do, who don’t want to work on their dogs in this fashion. There are plenty of people out there that you can go to if you don’t like what I do. There are plenty of folks that you can go to. There’s a dog trainer in every corner. At any rate, that’s what I do. I use positive reinforcement, marker training and clicker training. I work with dogs that have behavior problems. I work with dogs with fear, that are hyped up, that are aggressive and that have separation anxiety.

I work with those dogs. I help those dogs. I help their owners. I train the dogs. As most of my clients will say to me, “You’re training us as much as the dog.” I went, “Exactly, because I’ve yet to see a behavior problem.” I always say this, “A dog behavior problem that did not have a human component to it.” I’ll give you an example. I had a client with a Pomeranian who was wired up. One of the most wired-up dogs I’ve ever seen in my life.

If the owner walked away from the dog, he screamed and screamed. When they took him out of the car on a leash, he would scream. He just screamed whenever anything was outside of the house or anything was slightly different. I’m watching this and I asked the owner, “Do you remember the first time this happened?” They had two dogs, two Pomeranians. “The dogs sleep on the bed with us.”

When the husband would get up to go to the bathroom, the dog would start screaming. In the middle of the night, that’s not fun. I said to the husband, “The first time you heard the dog make any noise when you got up to walk away, what did you do?” “I picked him up.” I went, “There you go.” You rewarded his behavior. You gave him positive reinforcement for screaming. They didn’t realize that.

Somebody who wants to turn around, then say, “Correct the dog,” you’re correcting the dog for something that you taught the dog to do. How neurotic do you think that would make a dog? At any rate, these are the kinds of questions and answers and analyses that I do with my clients to determine what causes the problem so that we can get to the root cause of it and we can fix it by teaching behavior that precludes the bad behavior and rewarding it and remembering not to reward the bad behavior that we want to stop.

Are Dogs Telepathic?

At any rate, as I said, my website is Better Dog Behavior Now. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve run across something that I want to throw your way. This is going to be out there. There’s going to be some of you who go, “Where are you going with this?” I like to work with what science tells us as opposed to somebody who had some idea that heard his grandfather say about dogs, so he’s going to base his training on that.

I like to work with the science, but I will tell you what I’m about to share with you. There is science behind it, but there are a lot of mainstream scientists who think it’s a little crazy. I’m going to tell you what it is and I’m going to show you how if it’s true. We can use it not to fix your dog’s behavior but to make it easier to fix your dog’s behavior. Here’s where I’m going with this.

There’s a guy, a scientist named Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. He’s in the UK and he has written a book that is very interesting. I highly recommend that you get it. The title of it is Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. This is something that a lot of mainstream science was up in arms about when this book came out. Dr. Sheldrake did all kinds of double-blind testing with dogs that the owners had in surveys said, “My dog seems to know when I’m coming home every day. He’s waiting at the door when I get home.”

BDBN 15 | Animal Communication

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home By Rupert Sheldrake

Some people can say, “The dog knows what time you come home.” The dogs have a good sense of time. William Campbell used to say that dogs have an internal time clock that can be accurate up to 30 seconds to a minute a day. If you’re not home at the time that you’d normally be home, I’m getting wound up. By the way, Campbell wrote a book that I recommend you get as well, called the Owner’s Guide to Better Behavior in Dogs.

He’s the dean of solving behavior problems in dogs. William Campbell should have been the person on TV with a TV show called The Dog Whisperer. That’s all I’m going to say about that. At any rate, Sheldrake decided to do these experiments and test these dogs who their owners say no when they’re coming home. What he found in some cases were amazing.

For example, they had the camera up in the house and the camera up at the owner’s workplace. When the owner got up to get ready to go home, the dog would get up and, within moments, go sit at the front door. If the owner turned around and went back and got back in the car and didn’t come home, the dog, within moments, would go back and lay down again.

The question is, how does this happen? I won’t give away the entire book for you because it’s an interesting book, but what Sheldrake says, I believe, if I’m remembering correctly, he calls it a morphic resonance that the animals are tuned into an energy feel that we’re all a part of. That connects us all and as a result, what we see that’s telepathic, essentially telepathic, is a connection to the field and feeling what others in the field are doing.

That sounds crazy, doesn’t it, to think that your dog is telepathic? I bet everybody out there who has a good relationship with their dog has had an experience of looking at your dog, looking at you and getting the feeling that your dog’s trying to tell you something. Sometimes, you might get a picture in your head and go, “He wants to go outside.” There may be some communication going on there.

This sounds out there, but it’s the latest place that science is going. Being dragged, kicking and screaming in some cases, but it’s called Noetic Sciences. Another book that you may want to get that’s interesting has nothing to do with your dog, but it explains all this. It is called The Field. It’s by Lynne McTaggart. This gets down to quantum physics.

BDBN 15 | Animal Communication

The Field By Lynne McTaggart

One of the things that puzzled Einstein was a thing that we call quantum entanglement nowadays. Location. Electrons that are close to each other and have a relationship with each other, electron A moves and electron B moves. They’re right next to each other when they are separated with great distance.

A great distance for an electron might be 12 inches, but that would be the equivalent of maybe 100 miles or more for humans to be separated because of how small those electrons are. It’s almost no matter what distance the electrons had been separated by when electron A moved, electron B moved. They call that quantum entanglement nowadays. That’s another piece of evidence that there is a field that we’re in a relationship with or we’re attached to.

Spirit The Leopard

Why am I telling you this? Here’s the thing, there is a video I would like you to go pull up on YouTube and watch. It’s a thirteen-minute video. Take thirteen minutes of your time. That’s not a lot of time. It’s a video about a black leopard that’s named Spirit. The video is about a lady, this black leopard and a lady named Anna Breytenbach. Anna Breytenbach is an animal communicator. I would love to interview her on this show.

She’s located in South Africa. She does seminars, but I believe she only does seminars in South Africa but you can find her online. The entire documentary about her is called The Animal Communicator. I went to go buy the DVD for that off of Amazon. There’s only one problem. It was done, I believe, produced in South Africa. It’s on the format, whatever the European format. I realized it South Africa is not in Europe, but there’s a PAL format, a video that I believe originated in Europe and it’s on that, which means it can’t play on the DVD or Blu-Rays that we have here in the United States, but you can watch it on YouTube.

It’s called The Animal Communicator. It’s about 51 or 52 minutes long. This video I’m asking you to go take a look at about the black leopard Spirit is within that Animal Communicator video. It’s thirteen minutes long, but it’s been pulled out, separated on YouTube. You can watch the piece about Spirit. I believe the title of the video on YouTube is How Black Leopard Diablo Became Spirit and Anna Breytenbach.

You’ll recognize it when you see it on YouTube when you go look for it. At any rate, it talks about this black leopard residing at a park in South Africa that this guy who’s a former police officer or law enforcement of some type in South Africa opened up to rescue big cats that had come from abusive scenarios or situations.

People think they want to have a lion or a tiger as a pet, then when they realize they can’t have it, there’s usually a problem or a zoo or some type of organization that has these animals in cages. They would rescue these animals from these organizations. They had a big expansive land with big enclosures and the animals could run around and live their lives. They’re not wild animals anymore. They’re not pet animals, but they’ve been out of the wild long enough that they can’t survive on their own, so someone’s got to take care of them.

People think they can have a lion or tiger as a pet until they realize that they can't. Share on X

This guy had a good relationship. In this video, you can see him laying on the ground and playing with his lions and tigers. The problem was this leopard that they named Diablo he could not interact with. The leopard had put him in the hospital for about a week and the leopard had its own enclosure. In that enclosure, it had a shelter. He would not come out of that shelter. If anyone got near the enclosure, he would make it very clear from within his shelter, “Do not come inside this enclosure. I’m going to hurt you.”

The guy considered him a vicious animal and he said, “I don’t want to put him down. I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t know what to do with him.” I don’t remember if his wife is the one who hired Anna Breytenbach or it was part of the documentary. Somebody knew this guy in his situation, but they brought her there. She is an animal communicator, an interspecies communications specialist.

The person who got all this Dr. Doolittle stuff going in and made it well known in our world is named Penelope Smith. She’s out in Arizona. If I remember correctly, I’ve taken one of her CD courses that she has. It’s an interesting course. She’s got books out there, and you can look for any animal communication books by Penelope Smith. They’re excellent books.

Anyway, Anna Breytenbach goes to the enclosure. She doesn’t go in there, but she stays on the outside. She gets down on the ground and starts to look at this leopard and then got a camera set up outside of the enclosure with a close-up of the leopard. He starts out tense and it’s within moments, he relaxes. His head starts to bob. You can clearly see that this animal is Zened out. Anna Breytenbach is communicating with him and calming him down.

When she gets done, he’s relaxed. She goes back to the owners of this park and she says, “He’s concerned. He doesn’t like his name Diablo. He doesn’t like the implication of the name Diablo and he also feels pressure. He feels like you expect stuff from him and it puts pressure on him.” They’re sitting there looking at it like, “Yeah, right.” The guy said before she even went in there that he doesn’t believe this stuff works.

He said, “This is a dangerous animal. I don’t believe you’re going to be able to talk to him and change his behavior. That’s stupid.” When she said this, he was like, “All right. You could make that up. How can we prove that’s what he says to you?” She said something that shook their world. She said, “He’s also concerned about the two leopard cubs that were in the enclosure next to him where he was before this place and he wants to make sure they’re okay.”

This guy, who is a total disbeliever, when she said that, he went, “There is no way she could have known that. There were two leopard cubs that were in the enclosure next to him from the place where we took him and there is no way. She didn’t know where we got him from and there’s no way that she could have known that.”

When she told that to them, they suddenly started to believe what she was saying. What was further driven home in terms of knowing that this was legit was that soon after she left, for the first time in over the six months that he had been at that part, he came out of his shelter and began to stroll around in his enclosure. He stood on the outside of the fence and looked at him.

He told him verbally, he said, “We’re not going to call you Diablo anymore. We’re going to name you Spirit.” When he did that, he said, “You’re a good boy, Spirit.” He said the leopard gave him a little ruff and he called him a good boy again and he gave him a little ruff again. It’s not a ruff like a dog, but it’s like a cuffs sound that cats make. He said he did that somewhere in the order of 10 or 15 times.

After he did that, he went and got up on top of his shelter and laid there and looked across the park with his tails swishing. From that point forward, he’s been a relaxed individual. In a follow-up, Anna Breytenbach talks about how the couple who owned that park found those two cubs, brought them back and put them in the same enclosure with him. They’ve lived together into their old age.

Visual Communication

Spirit is now somewhere in the order of nineteen and one of the cubs died of old age. What was so interesting is that they were saying that leopards are typically solitary and you can’t put them together or they’ll hurt each other. There were no issues with these three. They lived together like a family. Anna Breytenbach is an animal communicator, an interspecies communicator. How does she do that?

When you hear her describe what she’s doing, she’s essentially sounding like she’s tapping into this field that Lynne McTaggart talks about in her book, The Field. She’s got a whole series of books about this. Power of Eight is an excellent one as well. It sounds like the same field and morphic resonance Rupert Sheldrake is talking about in his book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Come Home.

Let’s assume for a second that this is true. What Anna Breytenbach says is that what she does is communicate visually with pictures. She sends a picture to the animal and whatever picture she gets back, which pops into her head, her brain interprets that in human language. In her case, she’s speaking English. It translates the picture into a language that she can understand. That’s what the animal is saying to her.

BDBN 15 | Animal Communication

Animal Communication: Anna Breytenbach communicates with animals using pictures. She sends them a picture and interprets the pictures she gets back from them in human language.


In order for her to do this, she’s got to be very relaxed. She’s got to be in a meditative state. She’s a meditator. There is an excellent interview with her on an excellent podcast called Buddha at the Gas Pump. You can go listen to her interview there as well, but she studies and has studied meditation. She gets into that state and as she relaxes, she can send a communication to the animal. She gets information back. She gets a picture back and that’s how she translates it.

It’s not just this leopard. If you watch that entire Animal Communicator video, you’ll see some amazing things with wild animals. I don’t want to give it away for you but check it out. At any rate, why am I telling you this? Let’s think about this for a second. If the way to communicate with your animal is by pictures or the way to communicate with animals is with pictures and by the way, that’s not so out of the realm, is it, to think that animals visualize and that’s how they might communicate with each other?

It's not so crazy to think that animals can visualize. That's how they mainly communicate with each other. Share on X

We’ve all seen our dogs sound asleep and having a dream. Do we think they’re having those reflex actions and the yipping and the yelling and the running in place while they’re asleep just because their body’s doing that? No. I believe there’s been some scientific work done to show that there’s brain activity going on. They’re visualizing. They’re seeing pictures, so this is not out of the realm, but I want you to think about it for a second.

If what Anna Breytenbach is saying is true, she sends a picture to the animal, how many of us send the wrong thing to our animals? We might be communicating with our pet dogs and not even know that we’re doing that. We might be in our fear for the dog misbehaving, visualizing what is going to happen or what we don’t want to have happened. We might be giving the dog a signal to behave that way. Think about that.

I have a friend of mine who’s an excellent trainer. I sent her the video and I was telling her what I tell my clients, which is what I’m telling you. If I’ve got someone with a dog with a behavior problem, I let them take a look at that video about Spirit and we have this conversation I’m having with you. I told her that and she said, “That’s cool. I’m going to try it.” She sent me a text back about an hour later, “I got my dog to get up off the dog bed and walk to the back door.”

She visualized that and the dog did it. What’s so cool about that is she said, “That’s how I learn. It is by visualizing.” Some people learn auditory. They hear well. Some people learn by writing. Some people learn by talking, believe it or not. Some people learn and process things with pictures and that’s what she does. She’s pretty good at it and she has the ability to communicate with her dog that way. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

Think about it, if it’s true, how many times have you maybe given your dog the exact wrong communication because you’re scared about what’s going to happen? You visualize, “If he starts barking, what’s going to happen? If he bites somebody, if he is reactive on the leash,” as opposed to changing that and visualizing what you want to have happen.

Dogs Can Sense How You Feel

Now, that’s all very, maybe we’d say that’s esoteric, but here’s the thing. Let’s suppose for a second it’s not true. It’s a whole bunch of hooey. It’s BS. All that animal communication stuff. It’s woo-woo stuff. It’s out in the universe and I think it’s dumb. Let’s say you’re feeling that way about it. That’s okay. The science is coming along to prove this stuff. We don’t have it completely proven yet, but many years ago, centuries ago, science said the earth was flat. It took a while for science to catch up to reality.

The more research that’s being done on this, the more interesting this is going to get at any rate but let’s say that we’re going to be skeptics about this and say it’s hooey. Even if it’s not true, that you can communicate with your animal like this, we do know that if you visualize the disastrous possibilities of your dog’s behavior, it makes you tense. It makes you upset. It makes you, the owner, fearful. We all know that our dogs can sense the way we feel.

“I’m feeling tension off mom. That means something’s about to go down. I need to be on alert.” Even if this is not true, if you can begin to calm yourself and to visualize what you want and get into that calm state, maybe take up transcendental meditation, learn how to meditate and how to relax and do some deep breathing mindfulness, focus on your breathing and then begin to think and feel what you want your dog to do.

I’m not saying it’s going to change that behavior by itself because we still need to do behavior modification. We still need to create behaviors that are more like we want and reward those behaviors and create a plan for that, but it makes it easier to fix. That’s my message to you. Check out the video on Anna Breytenbach and the Leopard Diablo, who’s now named Spirit. If you have 51 minutes, watch the entire Animal Communicator Documentary on YouTube. I think you’ll be amazed.

As I said, I’d love to get her on and interview her after this episode has been on for a bit and more folks know who I am, then maybe I’ll be able to do that. That’ll be a very interesting episode. If you enjoy this, tell your friends who have dogs about it, the Better Dog Behavior Now. It’s been my pleasure being with you. I will talk to you next time.


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