Features May 2013 Issue

The Dog’s Mind

The Dog’s Mind

An interview with a leading researcher into canine cognition.

Dr. Hare opened the Duke Canine Cognition Center (DCCC) in the fall of 2009. With his wife and co-author Vanessa Woods (a research scientist at DCCC, as well as an award-winning journalist and author of Bonobo Handshake), Hare wrote the book to provide a comprehensive review of what they’ve been studying at the DCCC – everything about dog cognition or, as they call it, “dognition.” Their goal was to bring historical and current information about canine cognition to the general public. In the not-too-distant past, if you heard the word “dog” and “mind” in the same sentence, someone was probably talking about obedience, as in: “My dog minds pretty well.” Or, “You’d better mind me, or else!” Today, if you hear those two words in relation to each other, you are at least as likely to be listening to someone talking about canine cognition – the fascinating possibility that dogs are far more able to process thoughts and grasp concepts than previously given credit for.

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