July 22, 2013 at 9:05 am
I can’t remember where I first heard about Dognition.com – I think it might have been via my Twitter feed. From what I can see, Dognition.com is a website that offers a series of structured games (or exercises) for dog owners to do with their dogs, and through these games, owners can gain new insights into their dog’s personality and cognitive style. I guess they are like doggie personality tests with no right or wrong answers, just an evaluation of how smart your dog is. The games are organized into these categories: Empathy, Cunning, Communication, Memory and Reasoning.
This week, I saw that Dognition were offering some games for FREE and I couldn’t resist. I signed Boogie up and had Nathan help out.These are short 10-minute games and I love that they are very clearly explained with video demos and step-by-step instructions; but you do need a human assistant to do them. One person has to follow the online instructions and log the scores while the other person interacts with the doggie. It’s hard to do everything at the same time with only one person, unless if your dog is well-trained to obey commands like sit and stay and um… Boogie isn’t very reliable. Well at least not right now, while he is suffering on Temaril-P (steroid meds) and might starve to death if he doesn’t grab the treat ASAP.
In the Dognition Empathy category, Boogie proved himself to be “bonded” to me.
Nathan: “He’s a boston terrier, after all!”
I did a series of yawns and Boogie yawned too. During the eye contact exercise, Boogie did not break eye contact at all even while he experimented with changing poses, from sitting to standing to lying down, to stepping back, to sitting down, to lying down again etc. Boogie . did. not. break .eye .contact. Except once or twice when he experimented with a quick head turn to see if these would earn him the treat. Yes, he has always been an eye contact champion. He can stare at me forever while I offer various behaviors trying to guess what he wants….
The Communication games revealed some fascinating results. I placed two treats on the floor in front of me at the same time, one on each side. I had to look at and point (first with my arm, later with my foot) towards one of these treats, alternating between left side and right side. This was a test to see if Boogie responded to where I was looking and pointing, or if he was more likely to make his own decisions.
Interestingly, almost every single time, Boogie moved towards the OPPOSITE treat – the one that I wasn’t pointing at.
The Dognition verdict?
*I forgot to add: Boogie is sort of nervous around hands or feet … (he will rarely take treat that is placed next to a foot) I wonder if this had anything to do with his decision?
And so we completed the freebie games. To continue, I would have to pay for membership… not something I can really afford to do right now.
I am curious – has anyone signed up for full membership and done all the games? Your thoughts?
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