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|11-19-2010, 03:37 PM||#1|
YT 6000 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
[News] Inside the Science of How Dogs Think
Sit! Shake! Quit barking! Get off the couch! Go find your toy!
Ever wonder what your dog is thinking as it gazes at you while you are barking commands?
Duke University's Canine Cognition Center in Durham, North Carolina, is one of the few labs in the country focused on how dogs think.
"We're excited about describing the psychology of our dogs," says professor Brian Hare, the lab's director. "Different dogs solve different problems differently. And what we want to understand is: What is it that either makes dogs remarkable as a species or what is it that constrains the ability of dogs to solve problems?"
To test the dogs' ability, Hare and a team of graduate students put dogs through a variety of games similar to those you might play with young children.
"We don't want to look at cute pet tricks. What we want to know is, what does the dog understand about its world?" Hare said.
Hare has been analyzing our four-legged friends for about 15 years. He says dogs have figured out how to read human behavior and human gestures better than any other species has, even chimpanzees.
"The way they think about their world is that people are superimportant and they can solve almost any problem if they rely on people," says Hare.
Children start relying on adults' gestures when they're about a year old. That's about the same age that dogs start to recognize and rely on humans, too, Hare says.
When both I and Hare tried to direct Hare's dog Tazzie to a cup that had a treat in it, Tazzie took his master's cue and went toward the cup. I was a stranger to Tazzie, so the dog didn't rely on my information.
"He's grown up with me," says Hare. "We do lots of stuff together. He's never met you before, so he's saying, look, if they're both telling me where to go, I'm going to trust the guy who I'm with all the time."
According to Hare, this proves dogs are complex social animals who understand they have different relationships with different people.
"They really narrow in and pay attention to you and they want to know what it is about the world that you can help them with," he says.
Researchers at Duke are studying dogs to better understand their limitations. If they can identify why dogs make mistakes, they believe they can help them improve. That could mean making dogs better at working with people with disabilities or better at working with the military.
Inside the science of how dogs think - CNN
|11-19-2010, 07:35 PM||#2|
Crazy about Kacee!
Join Date: May 2005
I would so love to know how dogs think.
Muffin 1991-2005 Rest in Peace My Little Angel
|11-21-2010, 03:40 AM||#3|
♥ Piccolo & Vivi ♥
Join Date: Mar 2008
Really interesting article and thanks for posting.
Lisa, Piccolo, Vivi, and Dixie
|11-21-2010, 03:52 AM||#4|
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Kat PeekABooTinkerbellSapphire & Infinity
|11-22-2010, 04:39 PM||#5|
No Longer a Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kansas City, MO
awesome article. ask any yorkie owner and they will tell you that their dog is smart and defin. knows who their mama or dada is.
|11-23-2010, 01:43 AM||#6|
Donating YT 500 Club Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Katy, Texas USA
I would love to know what my two think when the alarm goes off at 4:00AM or on the days I get up before it goes off (stupid human, stupid human).
Jeanie, mom to Buster and Maggie
|01-11-2011, 07:56 PM||#8|
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Spokane,wa, usa
Blog Entries: 1
Ha mi lil munster cries and looks at me with hermouth full of milk bones, shes teething so she'll drop them in front of me and wait for me ti break it up in lil pieces. Its funny how i understand what she needs. Well she is my baby!