A Beginning Exercise in Animal Communication


By Barbara Janelle M.A.


I use a very simple exercise to introduce animal communication in my lectures and beginning courses. In developing this exercise, I used it initially to show the myriad of ways in which information comes in a communication (1). To that, I am now adding the recognition that each piece offers truth.


The Exercise. I ask those attending the lecture or course to think of their animal. If the person has several animals and they all present themselves, the person can ask one of the group to step forward to work in this exercise.


I ask, “How does the animal come to you?” Many report seeing the animal in their minds (visualization). Some say they hear the animal (sound). Others say they can feel the animal’s fur (physical tactile sense). Some additional ways the animal comes into the person’s mind and heart are: with smell, with memories, color, feelings from the animal, feelings triggered in the person, motion, energy level, etc. Most report that the animal comes with several different qualities. For example, “I see my dog smiling (visualization) and he feels happy (animal’s emotion) and is wagging his tail (motion).


This is a useful base for building an awareness of the language of communication, but even more information can be garnered from the exercise. Each aspect of the communication gives information.


I present questions:


  1. How much of the animal’s body do you see? What parts?
  2. Is the animal standing, sitting, lying down, moving?
  3. Is the animal looking at you or away from you?
  4. What is the animal feeling? Is it happy, enthusiastic, puzzled, confused, etc.?
  5. Do you get a sense of where the animal is?


There is no one way to interpret an image because each animal is an individual, as is each person. Feelings presented, in addition to a visualized image, can help to clarify things.


Here are a few examples of images combined with feelings that I have gotten in the first moments of communication sessions:


  1. A ragdoll cat lying down and looking around. This image combined with feelings of peace, self-satisfaction and pride led me to believe this cat was aware, observing, and confident.
  2. A Maltese dog lying down flat, dozing, a grey image, the body appearing flaccid, combined with feelings of floating, headache, light nausea, led me to believe the animal was not well.
  3. A Hackney Horse standing, soft-eyed, and relaxed, along with a feeling of confidence led me to believe the animal was feeling sure and steady.
  4. A male parrot in side view, very big and in attack mode combined with feelings of aggression and passion led me to ask if the bird was in breeding mode.


Simply thinking of an animal can call the animal in to a person’s mind and heart. And in a matter of moments, a lot of information can be presented. In many of my formal communication sessions, I spend most of the session describing and interpreting what I see, feel, hear, smell, etc. in the first few moments of contact with the animal.






  1. See my article, “The Language of Interspecies Communication,” unpublished 2011/12, www.barbarajanelle.com