Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Research finds dogs' cognitive abilities may be linked to domestication

Duke University professor Dr. Brian Hare is looking for subjects to be a part of what he hopes will be a global study of canine cognition and offer dog owners valuable insights into their companions.

Research finds dogs' cognitive abilities may be linked to domestication

Duke University professor Dr. Brian Hare has spent almost two decades examining dogs' cognitive behaviors, particularly their apparently unique ability to discern gestures.

Now he is looking for subjects to be a part of what he hopes will be a global study of canine cognition and offer dog owners valuable insights into their companions.

In his research Hare found that dogs - unlike their closest, relative, wolves, or even our closest relative, chimps - respond to gestures, suggesting that domestication is responsible. (Listen to Hare describe his work to the New York Times here.)

But Hare soon discovered there weren't enough dogs in North Carolina's Research Triangle to continue his research so he took it online.

Through his new company, "Dognition." dog owners - for a fee, starting at $39.99 - can play games with their dogs and receive a cognitive profile, while participating in the study.

Hare hopes to build a worldwide database that will one day help begin to answer questions about behavior, breeding and genetics and their role in a dog's cognitive abilities.

Try out Dognition here.

 

 

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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