Thanks Robert. I editted your post to make that link a little nicer looking. This also just came up on our Twitter feed.
It’s definitely interesting. Personally I’m skeptical about whether there is any signal value to the sneeze. Maybe the dogs just sneeze when they are about to leave for the hunt because they’re excited, or because it clears out their sniffers to get ready.
I think the original authors were appropriately cautious about these possibilities. Of course the popular version hypes the most interesting interpretation to draw us in.
That said, many communicative signals do emerge as the result some other process that originally is just coincidental or functional for some non-communicative purpose. If sneezing consistently predicts the hunt it could take on meaning as a signal.