Friday, May 27, 2016

Your Dog's Incredible Mind

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How often have you looked at your dog, looked at his expression and thought he was really smart? Or it's something else that seems unusual for him to know. Most people would accuse you of projecting your own thoughts onto him, or in the case of doing something, that it was just an accident. But was it? Really? When it was discovered that dogs are more accurate at detecting cancer than some labs it's time to pay attention. Isn't it about time for someone to explore the ordinary and extraordinary canine behavior to shine a light on the inner workings of a dog's mind and reveal the role of cognition in the rich mental lives of dogs? If you answered Yes! I have good news for you.
Dr. Brian Hare


Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND and Dognition - founded by leading dog cognition expert and Duke University Professor, Dr. Brian Hare - are exploring ordinary and extraordinary canine behavior to 
shine a light on the inner workings of a dog's mind and reveal the role of cognition in the rich mental lives of dogs. The fact that BRIGHT MIND is behind this research seems fitting. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will remember that before the food was on the market I had interviewed two nutrition researchers who were developing this food for dogs and cats. 

If you want to learn what goes on inside of a dog's mind, here's a graphic of Did You Know? Factoids that should help you understand:



10 comments:

Lisette Brodey said...

Really interesting. My boy does know a whole lot of words, but I've never tried to count how many. I remember reading once that a dog could learn approximately 150 words. Clearly, I like the idea that he might be able to learn far more. Fascinating!

Darlene said...

Thank you for commenting, Lisette. I agree that it's fascinating. I think it has been proven now that dogs can learn even more words than 150. It would be really interesting to find out if there is, indeed, a limit!

James Stagg said...

Amazing. Much work will need to go into this subject. But, should we really be surprised? Watch stock dogs work cattle and sheep. Truly amazing!

Darlene said...

Hi James Stagg, You make excellent points. Although those dogs are well trained and receive signals from the handler/owner they still have to make instantaneous decisions if something unexpected happens. Thank you so much for commenting!

Nancy Dionne said...

Thank you for your blogs, Darlene! My friend uses one of her Corgi's to bring in her sheep. After about a month of doing this along with the dog, my friend now stands by the gate while the dog brings in the sheep alone. But the sheep have also learned the routine and know to head to the corral when they see the dog coming.

Gordon Brice said...

Hi Darlene.....thank you so much for sharing this very interesting blog with us. I'm sure most people underestimate the power of a dog's brain, whilst those that have not been around dogs, probably do not even give thought to how much we owe our canine companions. Apart from companionship, where they show loyalty not always found in humans, they sense when we are troubled and provide comfort. We are constantly hearing how dogs are breaking boundaries in the world of health, but let us not forget the wonderful work they do in times of war and peacekeeping. As "sniffer dogs" they detect buried mines, so saving the lives of their handlers and others.......the list goes on and on.
Thank you again for providing such an enjoyable read.

Darlene said...

Hi Nancy Dionne, Thank you so much for telling us about your friend's Corgi! I'm sure the dog is thrilled to have his natural job to do. Should we be surprised that the sheep, too, have learned?! I hope the researchers from Dognition are reading the comments!

Darlene said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Gordon Brice. You are so right about what dogs do for us. And it really does lead to wondering what they are thinking and what else they are capable of doing. Just because they don't speak a language humans are likely to understand and are better at reading our body language than we are in reading theirs, doesn't mean they are not thinking quite clearly about many things. It's just that we haven't been able to understand what that might be. I'm looking forward to hearing more as Dognition discovers more!

Cathy Armato said...

So true! Sometimes my dogs are so "intuitive" it's scary! We're thinking "how did she know that??" in amazement. My dogs are loving Pro Plan Bright Mind, they've been eating it for a few months now. I wish I could PIN your info graphic but I don't see any share buttons!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

Darlene said...

Thank you for your comment, Cathy. Dogs really are intelligent, even beyond their ability to read our body language. I think we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I believe that with continued research far more may well be discovered. I only had a small choice of links to put on the page. I wish I could have chosen more. I use Add This. If you go to Pinterest, they have a button that is easily added to your browser so you can Pin whatever you like. I find it very handy!