Feb
6
2013

A new app called Dognition is challenging people to assess their dogs’ intelligence while contributing to scientific knowledge of dogs’ behavioral and cognitive patterns.

According to Mother Nature Network, Dognition encourages dog owners to take a survey about their pets’ behavior, then play a series of games with their dogs that are designed to assess five dimensions of intelligence: empathy, communication, cunning, memory, and reasoning.

Owners will gain a better understanding of their dogs’ behavioral tendencies and individual intelligence, but in the larger scheme of things, they will be providing valuable data that the scientific community can analyze to advance future studies, said the app’s designer, Brian Hare.

Hare, an associate professor in evolutionary at Duke University and director of Duke’s Canine Cognition Center, said Dognition will help dog owners to gain a deeper understanding of what makes their dogs tick.

“Maybe you find out your dog doesn’t have very good memory compared to other dogs,” he said. “Or maybe your dog is incredibly wily and is judging when you’re watching them or not. Some dogs know the difference between a person’s eyes being open or closed.”

Another interesting topic that Dognition may be able to shed light on is whether certain dog breeds are actually smarter than others, or whether that is a myth, Hare said.

Read the full article on Mother Nature Network, or find out more about Dognition here.

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