D is a 20-year-old college student living in Los Angeles, California who was originally from the Philippines.
This conversation took place in my room as a group of my friends were hanging out and I brought up if they knew any folklore or proverbs that they wanted to share. This superstition followed a couple of others that were thrown out by the informant and other friends but was the last from this particular informant.
D: They say if a dog barks at night, either someone already died or someone is going to die. If the dogs are like barking and howling at night… In the Philippines.
Me: Not in the US?
D: I don’t know haha.
I thought this superstition was very interesting as it was a depiction of an animal as a way of informing people about something. I feel as if I have heard of similar superstitions but am not completely positive about what the details were. I think it’s also interesting that it is interchangeable between someone being dead or that someone is going to die. Typically, there is a separation between an omen and a superstition that is reporting the death of a person. It seems likely that this stems from a belief that dogs have a “sixth sense” that allows them to detect that someone is dead and therefore vocalize it because of their ties to humans.
Coren, Stanley. “Can Dogs Sense When Someone Is about to Die?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/200905/can-dogs-sense-when-someone-is-about-die.