New York, New York (PRWEB) March 06, 2013
A new article from NBC News discusses a new practice called “Dogntion” where dog owners can have their pets put through a series of activities that help to reveal the inner workings of their animal’s mind. The metrics that come from these experiments are being used in a research project that could reveal how cognitive traits vary from breed to breed. Nancy Retzer, owner of Rover’s Pals Pet Sitting Service, is in favor of the new practice.
Duke University neuroscientist Brian Hare is one of the project’s co-founders. He explains, “I buy fancy dog food for my dog, and just like I want to take care of his stomach, I want to take care of his mind, too. Skip the next couple of chew toys, and your dog and you will really enjoy doing something a little different.”
Dognition isn’t a measurement of a pet’s IQ. Hare explains that a pet’s intelligence cannot be described using a single number. Instead, paying customers will take a personality questionnaire about their four-legged friend. They have to ponder how excited their pet gets around other dogs, adults, and kids. They reflect on whether the animal is afraid of fireworks. After answering these questions, Dognition then leads owners through a battery of tests that are telling, yet also fun. These tests include playing fetch and hide-and-seek. The results get uploaded to the Dognition Headquarters, and the owner receives a detailed profile of their pet’s mental habits, based on where their animal ranked on a chart regarding independent versus social problem solving skills.
Different regions of the chart are in line with nine different personality archetypes. They are as follows: Ace, Stargazer, Maverick, Charmer, Socialite, Protodog, Einstein, Expert, or Renaissance Dog. Understanding where a particular dog falls can help that owner to learn why their pet behaves a certain way, and how to offer discipline based on that animal’s personality traits.
The researchers behind the project also benefit from increased owner-pet participation. The data from the Canine Assessment Tests gets correlated with breed, age, and other factors.
In time, Hare states that he and his colleagues plan to map out the substantive cognitive differences that exist between dog breeds; these differences have yet to warrant a scientific study.
These findings may benefit certain breeds of dogs. While some species of dogs are not considered traditionally attractive, these studies may illustrate that these animals are especially well mannered or playful, thus helping them to garner attention from adoptive families.
Nancy Retzer owns Rover’s Pals Pet Sitting Service and spends her day interacting with a variety of types of dogs. She is in favor of this new practice stating, “Any time that we can gain more information and insight into how a pet operates, we’re better able to meet that animal’s needs. By understanding these dogs’ personalities, we can discipline them more effectively and help them to live a high quality life.”
Nancy Retzer is the creator of Rover’s Pals Pet Sitting Service. The company offers dog walking, grooming, training, doggy day care, and overnight sitting services to pet owners living in the Atlanta area.