Product Review and Giveaway: Dognition – “Find the genius in your dog”

Have you ever wanted to learn more about what goes on inside your dog’s head?  What type of personality traits to they most strongly posses?  How intelligent is your dog?  Want a chance to win a free toolkit to unlock some of these answers?

A story entitled “The Smartest Dog in the World” was featured on 60 Minutes this past Sunday.  It is the story of a border collie named Chaser that can identify about a thousand toys, and follow different commands, as in pawing the toy, retrieving the toy, or “nosing” the toy. (featuring my favorite journalist, Anderson Cooper!)

During the segment, they featured an assessment toolkit for your dog that lets you learn more about their personality. “Dognition” explained by Dr. Brian Hare of Duke University. (founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center)  For $19 you can purchase a series of “activities” ie” tests/science based games and an intensive survey about your dog(s).  I actually enjoyed the survey, who doesn’t love answering questions about their dogs?   You can also choose the option of a membership with new games and updated results for a total of $79 USD/year.

Their website states:

We understand. That’s why Dr. Brian Hare, along with the world’s leading canine scientists and trainers, created the Dognition Assessment: interactive games and expert analyses that give you an unprecedented perspective on how your dog sees the world. By understanding your dog’s mind, you’ll build a deeper connection with the personality behind the bright eyes that greet you every day.

Dognition.com

Last night I purchased the tool kit for Tucker.  It was his third birthday!!  We have done the first three series of tests, and the results are interesting.  He seems to be very empathetic, and trustworthy!  (he is a total counter-surfer, but can master the Leave It Challenge, so go figure..) We had a lot of fun and learned a lot,  and I didn’t need a partner for most of it. It is recommended that you use a partner, and the only items you need are sticky notes (or something similar, be creative) some plastic, non transparent cups, treats.  They also offer suggestions on their blog to complete the activities without a partner.  I will come back and update this when the tests are complete!

The Great Stuff:  These people have a sense of humor.  One question in the survey is:  Is your dog smarter than cats?  The three answer options are Yes, Yes, and Yes.  If you take the time to complete the survey, you can see the results of other participating dog owners.  Very interesting articles and points of view on their blog also.  I am always looking for information on dog behavior.  I would like to think of this as cutting edge!

Downfalls:  Videos didn’t play well on my ipad or my desktop.  Would like a sound option when timers are complete, an audible prompt when a command needs to be given, etc. (for us lone testers)

Further reading:   I discovered an article in a blog that I follow entitled “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell – Dognition Canine Assessment Tests which has several comments on the product.  At the time of the post, Dognition was charging $59 per initial dog, which I think was a little steep.  It is currently only $19 USD!   I’m hoping this takes off after the exposure on 60 minutes, and am offering a giveaway of an initial evaluation toolkit  (value $19 USD)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

shadowspoiled

photo: Twitter.com/Shadowthegolden

This is the first giveaway on the blog, so we will see how this goes.  Please enter and share!

Comments on your thoughts on the purchased product are also welcomed 🙂  What did you think of, or why would you like to try Dognition?

*Sincere apologies to Kathy and Keisel, who I miss-labled in the previous photo used on this post, of the handsome puppy with the phone, photo credit to @https://www.facebook.com/KeiselTheDogphoneUpdate Oct 23, 2014 – Congratulations Jacqui Godfrey, winner of my first giveaway.  Prize is on the way via email!

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A Bedtime Story For Your Golden Retriever – Really! Free Audiobook

This bedtime story for dogs was released just before Bonfire Night in hopes to help soothe some anxious canines.   Teddy and Stanley’s Tall Tale was created by MORE TH>N Pet Insurance and narrated by Shakespearean actor Simon Callow.

According to Karen Wild, a well known dog behaviorist in the UK, “Dogs understand certain sounds as inherently calming and to ensure the story would work, it was created using scientific evidence based on research of the canine mind and their sense of hearing.”  Wild  contributed to the creation of the book.

It is recommended that you read in a tone as if “talking to a two-year-old child, as if the child is rather shy” .
It’s also apparently most effective when played for your golden numerous times.

Here is the audiobook in it’s entirety, narrated by Simon Callow.  Hope your furry friends like it!  I’ve already played it once for Tucker.  Why not???!!!

For the full story from The Daily Mail click here.

Happy Bonfire Night!! (for the record, I had to Google Bonfire Night, Wikipedia says it is celebrated in Canada, and I had not heard of it.  I don’t live under a rock!  Honest!

Golden Retrievers and “Paw-resting-on-arm” Behavior. Dominance or Not?

You know what I mean right?  When your dog is sitting next to you and places his/her paw on your lap or arm, either before or after you start to pet them?  Both of my goldens did this ALL THE TIME!  I don’t have a problem with this.

Since this is a blog about goldens, and even has a category called Golden Behavior, I thought I would do a little post about this particular behavior and see what others have read, learned, or experienced.

And of course, I have to throw in the Poll…Does your golden do the “Arm-Paw” ?  I want to try and determine if this is a common “Golden Behavior”  Please participate!  It only takes a fraction of a second.

The conclusion that I have come to is this:  If a dog gets petted when he puts his paw up, he considers this a reward, therefore, he will continue to do this, and in most cases, continue to be rewarded.  If no one ever responds to this behavior, I assume it would eventually not exist.

A dog is man’s best friend, and this is just one of their ways of showing affection, or begging!  Some sites I checked out still believe it is a dominant behavior.  I suppose there is that possibility that it is dominance related in some situations, but generally, with goldens, its just them begging for affection with their adorable cuteness.  If I don’t want to pet Tucker, (like THAT ever happens) I wont pet him.  It is always my decision.  Excuse me while I go pet Tucker…

Related Article – Why Do Dogs Give Paw? by Kevin Behan – Modern Dog Magazine