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« Legislation favoring breed-neutral legislation moves forward in 3 states | Main | Friday Fun Day - Lessons in Trust from Cats and Dogs »

February 21, 2013

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H. Houlahan

Someone asked me about this a few weeks ago.

I never got past the home page. It just SMELLED scammy and slick. No idea about the content, but the presentation sent me running.

Brent

It definitely smelled a little fishy. But the video was sort of intresting, just hard to tell if it's really based on anything "scientific" or if it's a palor game.

dodo

I read about this a few days ago. I won't call it a scam, but it is a for-profit venture first, and research project second.

For $60, a Peek Inside Your Dog’s Mind | Science Mag (http://ge.tt/8Dpn3mX/v/0)

>I went to a conference called The Association of Pet Dog Trainers [in October 2009]. I gave my keynote lecture … [describing his studies of dog cognition]. Everybody kept saying over and over again, “We want to know how to do these tests; we want to do these tests with our clients.” People said while I was there: “You should really start a company.” I was like: “That’s ridiculous.” I knocked around the idea for a couple years. I went to the Duke Business School and gave an elevator pitch—I had 3 minutes to explain my idea to a room of a couple hundred people. … A bunch of business professors came up to me afterwards and said: “You have to do this.”
...[Eventual CEO] said, “Let’s do this,” and a week later he’d raised a million dollars

>Q: Is there any kind of conflict there, in asking people to pay to be part of a research project? B.H.: I don’t know, I don’t know. This may sound lame, but people are already paying for this at Duke—not in money, but in opportunity costs. We’ve had people drive from different states. We have people stay in hotels for a week to have their dog tested. People really, really want this.

Yes it sounds lame.

>I think we would hope we’d have somewhere
near 100,000 in the first year.

So they are expecting $6 million in revenue in the first year.

The section on the science behind the test (http://support.dognition.com/knowledgebase/topics/22529-the-science-behind-dognition) is rather empty.

Sheri Hands Helping Paws

Well, one thing I think It fails to address is how willing your dog is to participate. Just because your dog refuses to do something doea not mean it is not intelligent and maybe just the opposite. But what is more concerning is that owners could become obsessed with having the most intelligent dog. In my experience some people have dogs already that are too smart for them and/or their lifestyle. I have told clients not to get certain breeds because they would be too hard for them to keep mentally stimulated. This can lead to all kinds of bad habits.

EmilyS

There are so many different kinds of intelligence.
A dog is superbly intelligent about being a dog, while a human is supremely stupid. And vice versa of course...

At least "scientists" no longer assert that animals other than humans have no intelligence...

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