Animals can be hypnotised just like humans. Strictly speaking, it is not hypnotism per se but more of a trance or putting the animal to “sleep”. An animal in trance is in a state of complete relaxation and is immobile, staying still as if it is sleeping as its heart rate and breathing slows. After a certain amount of time, the animal wakes up and acts as if nothing happened.
For example, flipping a rabbit on its back causes it to stay still. It merely twitches its nose but its limbs are completely stiffened. An alligator shows the same response when flipped.
A pheasant can be put into trance if its stomach is rubbed and an iguana falls asleep when stroked on the head as the heat sensing organs are activated and they feel relaxed.
When stroked on its most sensitive part, the nose, a shark freezes from the intense sensation (considering a shark dies if it stops swimming, this must be quite a pleasurable feeling for the shark).
If you turn a lizard on its back and rub its stomach, its diaphragm and respiratory organs are compressed and oxygen supply is limited. This causes the lizard to “turn off”, falling into a trance.
These strange responses are most likely a survival instinct. For example, if a rubber hose with a knot on the end is held in front of a mouse, it will stay absolutely still. This is because it mistakes it for a snake and is frozen from fear. Also, predators such as snakes focus their vision around movement sensing and thus are blind to immobile objects. Similarly, rabbits and alligators mentioned above are playing dead to avoid danger.
Unfortunately, this instinct produces the opposite effects sometimes. Chickens are a good example.
When you press a chicken’s head against the ground and draw straight lines in front of it, it suddenly goes quiet as if possessed. Even after taking off the hand, it stays still. This technique was devised to make the process of cutting off the chicken’s head an easier task. Also, a chicken can be put into trance by gently tucking its head under its wing and then swinging the whole chicken side to side about 10 times. A turkey can be put to sleep the same way.