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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Dog Emotion and Cognition by Duke University

4,242 ratings

About the Course

Dog Emotion and Cognition will introduce you to the exciting new study of dog psychology, what the latest discoveries tell us about how dogs think and feel about us, and how we can use this new knowledge to further strengthen our relationship with our best friends....

Top reviews


Aug 3, 2019

Great course with a lot of new information, not just about dogs but even domestication of other species, including humans. The predictability of aggression in humans would be an interesting next topic


Dec 13, 2020

I learned valuable information about dogs. I can better understand the thought processes of my own dogs. I really like that the lecture slides were provided after the lectures, so I could review them.

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26 - 50 of 1,262 Reviews for Dog Emotion and Cognition

By Donna C

May 29, 2019

This course was a good course to take on dog cognition and how smart your dog is.

By Nicole J V N

Sep 16, 2021

surprising i loved the course and the teacher's didactics

By Stephanie I

Jun 11, 2019

Great course and practically applicable.

By Betsey F

Nov 3, 2015

It seemed this course was a teaser to get people to enroll in/pay money to join the dogcognition program at Duke. I realized this in week 2 and did not continue the course.

By Sharat S

Sep 8, 2020

Talks more about his book rather than an actual course on dogs.

By Annika G

Feb 5, 2016

The lecturer was an annoying speaker and very repetitive. I just couldn't listen to him... I'm sorry. There was also so much about human development etc that I started to wonder when the info about dogs would start....I found the formatting so different from other courses I've taken, that it was hard to get started and figure things out. Adding to that, was the constant interruption of the "paid certificate" page. If I answer "no" once, please leave me alone! I also think it's a bit suspect for a prof to be plugging his own book for one of these courses.

By Jasmine

Apr 9, 2020

I completed the course. It said that this particular course was offered in the list of courses that receive a free certificate, an offer until the end of may (which I have screen shot off the page). However I have been told I have to pay for it ???? I'm not impressed by the misleading information, especially after hours of studying.

By Natalie E H

May 22, 2016

*No Stars*

Okay.... this class is very pointless. It is super boring and gives me little information. He says that you do not need to buy his book or visit his suggested website, however that is all he talks about.

At least the tests are not focused on that, its mostly on vague points he explains. I would not recommend this class.

By steven R

May 27, 2017

shameless promotion of the dognotion program for purchase. No real educational value.

By Jennifer

Jul 14, 2021

Excellent course. Very interesting and made me think about how my Sunshine thinks. Unfortunately, she passed away a week ago and so I am not able to use Dognition with her. She is a pekingese and has often been rated in low intelligence. Yes she would not learn tricks and could barely be taught how to sit but I often observed that she was very intelligent in that she was cunning or would find ways to communicate with me about a chew that was under that table and could not be reached or a couple of months before she passed, would call me (even wake me up) to give her a piece of her treat. She had different barks which I recognized for different needs eg when there is a stranger outside to when she wanted something from me. This course provided me with scientific acknowledgement of what I observed with Sunshine and also that it wasn't just me that dogs (and animals) may have intelligence that we do not recognize as traditional intelligence of animals (eg doing tricks) or comparing it to humans.

What I also appreciated with Dr Hare was when he talked about dogs today and looked at other countries who eat dogs but also brought it back locally about the shelters in USA and the puppy mill. It is important to recognize that even in our own backyard, we are not perfect, as it is often easier to criticize other countries or cultures.

Highly recommend this course if you are interested in animals especially dogs and their way of potentially thinking or processing information.

By Robert F

Feb 19, 2016

Elegant. This course teaches us how scientists have been able discover the ways in which dogs think and behave and presents those lessons within the broader context of evolution, domestication, psychology, ecology and society. The course reveals surprising and practical insights about how having a better understanding of dogs helps improve our understanding of ourselves, our human history, and contemporary society. The course explains how science helps to correct many of our common misunderstandings about the intelligence of animals, and summarizes how the manner in which we study animal behavior and cognition is changing today. The course is fun. The video lectures are clear and concise. Everything is very well organized and delivered with enthusiasm and clarity. The quizzes are not technical nor particularly challenging but do help with learning the course material. The course has references to optional reading materials and optional activities from that you can explore with your own dog at home. I would recommend for anyone interested in animals, psychology, or behavioral science and certainly anyone with a pet dog. I personally enjoyed seeing so many examples of controlled experiments being used to discover new knowledge about the inner workings of animals.

By Melissa V S

May 27, 2018

Hi! I really loved this course, it taught me a lot of things!! I am in a dog obedience course right now and I am planning in becoming a dog trainer. I really appreciated all this knowledge and I congratulate you for this! I am also registered in Dognition and I'm currently making my dog's profile with the games. What really surprised me from this course was that it is an "inclusive" teaching, it does not rule out other ways, but it also highlights the scientific facts you guys have discovered or studied. For example, the clicker part where you suggest there's no evidence that clickers make it easier to train dogs, well in my experience clickers really make things faster, but my experience can't determine that this clicker thing is a law. I think it is very important to use science and also personal experience, and mix different kinds of knowledge to get the best results when working with dogs. We can't reduce dogs into one thing or another. Thank you, again, for offering this and for making me a better professional.

By Leina B

Jun 10, 2020

I am 12 and homeschooled and this course was very fun. I learned a lot and ended up registering for dognition and getting the book (The Genius Of Dogs) which I ended up buying after I had made my way through the majority of the course so I plan to read it by itself versus as a go along and I am looking forward to it.

I would say that this course could be beneficial to any age, I learned a lot of things that I didn't know before and being a dog lover and having a very trainable family dog, I find it makes the course more entertaining and interesting when you have a dog of your own to apply it to. of course this is not necessary, any dog lover would enjoy this course whether they owned a dog or not. I just like knowing that I will benefit from the knowledge wether I choose a career that relates to dog emotion and cognition or not. I highly recommend this course to any age that wants to learn more about how dogs think and process information and how to train dogs and work to their strengths.

By Peter G

Aug 22, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. It opened up a world of useful information for dog lovers and casual scientists. One suggestion is that when you are showing a graph or picture or video, one cannot enlarge the scale or easily move it so that one can read what you are describing as graph and lines and its scare are very small. Perhaps a younger more savvy person can do this, but an old person like myself would like to easily see what you are describing at the same time you are describing it. I enjoy the dognition experiments as well--hopefully you could set up a plan evn as a fee for a new game a month that we could play to continue to citizen science! Also, I was hoping to print out a certificate for my friends to see that I am now a dog cognition expert--can you not send something silly? Thank you very much. Peter Glmore, Guayaquil, Ecuador, owner of 2 pugs, Betty and Macho

By Kamea N

Aug 13, 2020

I had so much fun taking this course! I have plans to become a CTP for Karen Pryor Academy and I used this course as a sort of "pre requisite" to learn more about dogs before I begin training them. The course was super informative and helpful with my understanding of my own dogs and any dogs I will come in contact with in the future. Dr. Hare did an amazing job relaying the information in the course and always kept my interest peaked. This course has truly enriched my life and I am recommending it to everyone I know who is willing to learn about it. I have always had a passion for dogs and it was so nice to learn all about how I can understand their behavior and use the genius of dogs in my favor within my training. Thank you Dr. Hare for this amazing course and one of my favorite books, The Genius of Dogs!

By Igor P

Mar 11, 2018

Great course! I learned more than just about my dog's cognitive capabilities. I also completed my dog's profile on DOGNITION. Some tests surprised me, but after all, I agree with the findings. Even more, after completing the course and reading the book (The Genius of Dog) I am able to explain some of my dog's behaviors and get bonded better to my GSD. I am particularly thrilled by the evidence of large cognitive variability within the same species (including different types of intelligence). I also fully support the concept about the citizen science and how more data can be used to find out all kind of interesting results that cannot be infer from small populations.

Thanks Brian and Vanessa for your passion for dogs' cognition and the great effort you put to share your knowledge with all of us. _igor

By Nichtsals U

Jan 11, 2016

I thought it's going to be a little boring - I only took it "for fun", I don't even have a dog or plans or get one, but starting with week 3 and especially week 4 the bigger picture of evolution of humans and animals up to this day alone was worth taking this course. Definitely broadened my mind. Also very valuable were was the information about dog breed profiles and what science can actually tell us about traits like aggressiveness and if they are related to breeds (they are not). If you are looking for concrete dog training tips you won't find them, this course is more about giving an overview of the state of science, but it does so very well IMHO. You can take the course in two afternoons easily - I recommend against doing it over 8 weeks. The videos are short, I watched them at 2 x speed mostly.

By Danielle A

Sep 24, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course, and I feel like I learned a great deal. When training my own dogs and interacting with any dogs, I will now think of the cognitive processes behind their behavior, and I'm hoping to implement this thinking into my training with them, or even just during play. I learned a lot of things about evolution and self-domestication of species that I did not know, and I find this knowledge to be very valuable and interesting. The course material was so fascinating to me, I finished the class early. I also enjoyed learning more about my dog with the Dognition games and contributing to the dataset as a citizen scientist. I might end up playing the games with my other two dogs, too! Great course, thank you to Dr. Brian Hare and all involved.

By DakotaLynn B

Jan 11, 2018

I should state that I have a higher understanding of dogs than most people.

In the beginning, for several lectures, I knew everything already and was disappointed, thinking I wouldn't learn much of anything, but as the course progressed, I learned far more than I could have hoped for. This course not only goes over cognitive function of dogs, but also evolution and includes information on Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Foxes, Wolves and even Humans! I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in evolution, cognition, dog training, animal domestication, wolf and dog social hierarchy, fast mapping, intelligence, dog breed differences (including size differences), bsl, pitbull, dog bites, dog agression, dog behavior, or just for some fun games to play with your dog!

By SpeedDogGirl

Apr 3, 2016

This course is for you if you love dogs, and/or are interested in the science of animal behavior. Dr. Hare's presentations are interesting, informative and fun. I loved his use of scientific studies, videos, and Russian history (yes!) to get his points across. His book (optional) and the dog games (also optional) only add more depth to his lectures, but don't feel you need to buy the book and/or the can take the online course and do just fine (but hopefully you'll want to read more, and participate as a citizen scientist, after taking the online course!). I will recommend this class to my canine_enthusiast friends, as I found Dr. Hare's class to re-evaluate how I look at the thought processes of dogs. This course is time well-spent!

By Kathryn M K

Jan 8, 2016

This course is fun to take, and it opened my eyes to a lot of research findings about dogs, people, and other animals. The material is presented in a way that's interesting and easy to follow, even though the ideas that the course covers are far from simple. I like that the course goes into the history of the science about animal cognition. I also like the way it debunks old-hat ideas about intelligence in animals, ranging from ants through apes, wolves and dogs, to humans. A big side-benefit is that the course has made me think in new ways about human society and human achievements, and the evolving shape of our relationships with one another and our capabilities. It has also validated my positive feelings about the dog in my family.

By Diana V

Jul 20, 2019

I really liked this course and the way it explains evolution and cognition for dog and how studying dogs made us understand many other things about evolution, about us, about other species and about what is domestication and the processes behind it. This course doesn't focus solely on dogs, it has chapters where the focus is on other species (humans, primates, foxes, wolves etc), but that is done to help you understand how and why dogs' minds began to be studied and how important it was for our understandiong of many other things.

The only thing i didn't like about it was the limit on Dognition and the fact that, for me, it felt like i was missiong a lot for not having the book and not paying for Dognition.

By Rosie E

Jun 13, 2020

I'm so glad that I found this course when quarantine had just started in my country. Learning so many new and exciting things about dogs, became a beautiful and educational escape for me during this crazy time. I'm sure I'll never forget this experience, mainly because of the way that Dr Hare explained each lecture. He did it in a very fun and exciting way, with videos and very interesting studies that showed me the way into the beautiful world of dog emotion and cognition. I totally recommend taking this course, it changed the way that I see one of my favorite animals in the world (dogs) and it changed the way that I see myself. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and your love for dogs Dr Hare!

By tania w

Dec 26, 2019

As a dog trainer I'm hugely interested in the advancement of science in canine cognition and how this can help us advance our training, compassion and understanding of dogs. Dr.Hares course was engaging, very well taught, and fuelled my enthusiasm and admiration of our beautiful dogs. I will participate in Dognition as a result (excited!) and have plenty further reading to do also with regard to studies and papers cited in the course. Science-based dog trainers will learn that there's more to our dogs than classical and operant conditioning. We need to understand and embrace cognition also if we are to advance our ethical relationship with these amazing animals that sleep in our beds. Highly recommneded!

By Mary B

Nov 3, 2019

This course is excellent. I am always interested in the science of dog learning. While I have clicker trained dogs, I do not find it to be a "perfect" method for training all dogs. Everything depends on the individual and understanding more about how dogs learn most definitely helps with creating training plans for each individual. While the course does seem to push dognition, it isn't necessary for understanding or completingleting the course. The course, while covering the science is presented in a manner that allows for people of all levels to understand. I would like more on the science of how dogs learn and will be looking for more on this subject, hopefully from Duke and Dr. Hare.