Dog Parent? Add THIS To Your Holiday Gift List!


This post is sponsored by Dognition, as part of their #DiscoverYourDog campaign. Although I have been compensated, all opinions in this post are my own.


My two-year-old Poodle, Gigi, is a genius.

She communicates with me on a daily basis, learns from my actions, and looks to me for guidance. 

Seriously … I have proof!

Dognition – Find The Genius In Your Dog

I was recently approached by Dognition, a company devoted to helping us humans better understand our canine kids. To do that, they brought some of the world’s leading dog scientists, trainers, behaviorists, and veterinarians together to create something called the “Dognition Assessment.” It’s not an IQ test. Rather, it’s a series of 20 interactive games and expert analyses of how our dogs think, view the world, and communicate with us.

Intrigued?

So was I!

Dognition asked me to participate in their #DiscoverYourDog campaign by taking their assessment. Let me tell you, I learned a lot about my pooch!

Here’s How It Works

With a friend’s help, you and your fur kid play a series of science-based games that are broken into five categories — empathy, communication, cunning, memory, and reasoning. Each category challenges your dog in a different way and is meant to uncover various dimensions of their cognition (I’ll talk more about these categories in just a minute)!

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One of the things I love about the Dognition Assessment is how easy it is to navigate. First, I created a profile for Gigi and answered a few basic questions about her personality. They asked me about everything from her breed to how many words she understands. 

Then, the games began. 

Since I’m a visual learner, I was thrilled to see an instructional video play before each game, highlighting what equipment I needed and step-by-step instructions on what to do.

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Each category in the assessment had multiple games that really made Gigi and I work together in ways we hadn’t before. I started to see how much she relies on my guidance in certain situations, and how she takes charge in others. Through this experience, we really bonded!

At the end of each category, Dognition immediately gave me a Profile Report that explained what Gigi’s actions during each game meant.

Let’s Talk About The Games!


Empathy

The first category in the Dognition Assessment is empathy. One of the games challenged Gigi’s ability to hold eye-contact with me. Placing a treat under my eye, Dognition set a timer for 90 seconds. I did this exercise three times, and every time Gigi was able to maintain eye-contact with me for the full 90 seconds! Check out her results:

dognition-assessment-eye-contactdognition-assessment-empathy-score


Communication

It’s like that famous quote by Orhan Pamuk: “Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen!” I always knew this to be true, but this part of the assessment really proved it. Gigi and I played an arm pointing game and a unique foot pointing game, where I placed one treat to my right and another to my left. Then, she had to follow my gesture to decide which treat she should eat. For the most part, Gigi took my physical cues and relied on me for help. On Dognition’s “self-reliant/collaborative” scale, Gigi definitely tipped to the collaborative side.

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Once we finished the communication section, the Dognition Profile Report revealed:

Gigi is remarkably like a human infant, who start reading communicative gestures at around nine months old.


Cunning

The games in this section tested Gigi’s trustworthiness — when I’m watching her and when she thinks I’m not! Since Gigi is familiar with the “leave it” command, I was surprised she didn’t listen to me during any of the cunning games! While she looked to me for guidance during other games, she had her own agenda this time around. According to her performance report, that revealed something about her:

This doesn’t mean that Gigi can’t be trusted, it just shows us that there are other internal factors influencing Gigi’s decision.


Memory

So I knew that Gigi had a pretty long attention span, but I was extremely impressed with her memory during the games in this category. They challenged Gigi to remember where I placed treats for up to 2 & 1/2 minutes! From these games, Dognition determined Gigi has an amazing working memory.

In humans, working memory has been found to correlate with skills in learning, math, reading, and language. Researchers have even found some evidence that in children, working memory is more predictive of academic success than IQ.

In my opinion, the games in this category were more challenging than some of the other ones we had played up until this point. I really saw Gigi’s wheels turning!

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Reasoning

Reasoning is the ability to solve a problem when you can’t see the answer. Rather, you have to imagine the solution. In this section, Gigi played games where the visual element was removed and she had to use her reasoning skills to determine where I hid treats. She was able to find the treat 50% of the time, meaning she falls in the middle of “impulsive” and “logical.” 


Gigi’s Results & What It All Means As a Dog Mom

dognition-charmer-badgeJudging by how Gigi responded to the assessment games, she is a Charmer! That means, while she is perfectly capable of working problems out on her own, she would much prefer if I gave her some guidance and helped her. We have a strong bond and make a great team! 

If you ask me, these games and analyses say a lot about Gigi (and our relationship). As a result, here are the top 3 things I will work on:

  1. Approach our training sessions differently to incorporate more mind challenges. 
  2. Start playing a lot more games that test her reasoning skills. 
  3. Stock up on dog puzzles that make her use her sniffer (vs her memory) to uncover the treat. 

Every dog will approach these games differently, so I definitely encourage you to check out Dognition’s website and give the assessment a try for yourself. I promise you – it will be an eye-opening experience!

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Why It’s The Perfect Gift!

As I write this article, the holiday season is right around the corner. Whether you are looking for a fun gift for a fellow dog parent, you want to get your pooch an interactive gift, or you just want to spoil yourself with something unique, THIS is honestly the perfect gift! 

Not only will it help you better understand your dog, it’s also extremely affordable. The assessment is only $19! 

But why stop at just the assessment? 

Dognition also offers an annual membership ($19 one time + $9 per month), so your thoughtful gift will keep on giving! 

  • Dognition assessment & profile report
  • 20 interactive games
  • In-depth game analysis
  • New monthly games
  • Expert tips and tricks
  • 50% off additional dogs

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Have fun taking the assessment and Happy Holidays!