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.
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
By Anthony E•
By Diana M H P•
By Joan E F•
By Leita T•
I just finished this course, Dog Emotion and Cognition. It provided lots of information on dog evolution and cognition research relating both to the human/dog relationship as well as touching upon its relevance to other species. The research ideas regarding the linkage between domestication behaviors and physical traits were particularly intriguing to me. As another reviewer noted, information on "dog emotion" was lacking; course content or title should be revised to be in alignment (perhaps "Dog Evolution and Cognition"?). Also as noted by others, course is strictly "lecture style" with "readings" that consist of informational slides used in the lectures (okay for review, but obviously not providing any new or additional information). There is a fair amount of reference to the instructor's book and "citizen science" website (which requires a subscription) -- but this seems on par for a "free" web-based course. (I neither read the book nor subscribed to the website, so cannot speak to benefits of either). I agree with other reviewers who pointed a need to carefully read quiz and test questions; many included wording such as "select the best response based on lecture material" or "all statements are true except", but as I found the exact same to be true of the one other MOOC I have taken, this may be common. Overall, I found the course interesting, and some of the research findings may be applicable to understanding how to work with my recently-adopted dog, but don't expect "real world", practical training strategies.
By Rozana T•
Having just completed the course I'd like to thank Dr. Hare for sharing his keen observations on dogs & detailing the processes he came up with & tested the theories presented in this course. I really enjoyed his simple & very easy-to-follow approach of data collection, his conversational explanations of his thoughts, the sharing of his experiences & his honest & joyful love of dogs. All this helped in making learning a pleasure & fun. I was also very pleased with the sensitivity welfare issues were discussed, something that should never be ignored in the pursuit of academic knowledge.
The Genius of Dogs may not be required reading but I believe that it is actually essential in a better understanding of the material. It is very well written & anyone interested in dogs, regardless of his/her level can truly enjoy it without even noticing how much he/she is learning.
I am also glad of the comparative approach of the study of dog cognitive skills & having the opportunity to get a glimpse of the lives of various other species. All the success in Dognition & other projects undertaken.
By David J•
Very informative, unfortunately Dr. Hare had a lot of filler words (ah, umm) in his videos, but typically receded towards the later part of the videos. As opposed to other reviews I do not feel like the incorporation of his book and website burdened the lecture, many professors in universities use their own book for their courses and I feel like Dognition would greatly help students be engaged in the course, they do have a couple games on their Youtube page if you want a taste before purchasing Dognition. I feel like this lecture has more to do with cognition than with emotion, and unfortunately I went into this lecture thinking it would be more about dog psychology. So don't dive into this course thinking you'll know a lot about dog psychology as emotion and cognition are just parts of psychology but it'll definitely give you some insightful information on dog cognition.
By Clara Y•
Lots of fascinating material, but you could get the same from reading Dr Hare's book. Actually the course felt more like an advertisement for Dr Hare's book and the Dognition product than anything else. But it was engaging with many fun examples and some good videos of studies with primates and dogs. There was not really any material on dog emotion, with most of the emphasis on cognition, especially the evolutionary implications for domestication and human and primate evolution. [I recommend Frans der Waal for material on animal emotion and ethics.] I liked the call for a new school of thought towards dog training, evolving beyond the behaviorist underpinnings of clicker and positive reinforcement training to the idea of social games, taking advantage of the unique 'genius' of dogs.
By Robert J B•
The material is so interesting that even though you're learning a lot, it doesn't feel like hard work. The only possible drawback is that it keeps referencing this citizen science (a similar concept to crowd sourcing or open-source) program called Dognition. Dognition's this website that allows you to play games with your dog that test its cognition, and uses the data from it to better understand how dogs think. You don't need Dognition to learn a lot and get a lot out of the course, but if you don't have a dog to play with or feel like spring for the fee (which again, are highly optional and not needed to learn from this course), you will miss out a bit. But other than that, it's fascinating to learn about how dogs think and how that's unique among the animal kingdom.
By alicia c p•
Muy interesante. Como persona vegana, algunos de los ejemplos y experimentos mencionados, realizados con otros animales en cautividad y algunos no precisamente en condiciones óptimas no me han parecido necesarios, y más bien me han provocado sentimientos negativos, sobre todo si tenemos en cuenta que el curso es sobre perros. Pero en general las teorías y los temas tratados en el curso me han parecido muy interesantes. Creo que todas las personas que tengan perro deberían entender un poquito mejor a estos miembros de la familia y este curso puede ser un primer paso hacia esa comprensión.
By Dave N•
-An absolutely fantastic course, very highly recommend it to anybody who owns a dog. My only complaint is that in week 5, the teacher gets quite a bit overboard into all of evolution. There is no need for this, because the course is on Dog EMOTION and COGNITION, not primate and human evolution. I felt I was a captive audience for his own unnecessary preaching on primate evolution. The best example I can give is the classic times when a person would invite you over for dinner only to sell Amway. Other than that, the course was wonderful! Great teacher.
By Daniel D•
I love some of the discussions in this course, and i think that students can be prompted to contribute even more. Perhaps make contributing to a discussion in each module an essential part of the course?
The content is well-structured, going from a general overview of evolution to canine cognition. I would have liked to see it go even further, questioning the assumptions behind some of the recent research publications in this area instead of just including it in this course. A little more critical reasoning doesn't hurt.
By Nathalie H•
I loved the passion in the lectures and the pratical exemples.
Very interesting even though I don't have a dog anymore to ultimately test the games.
Small comments: for a non anglophone the flow is sometimes a bit too fast (thanks to the subtitles - which for some of them are not 100% accurate by the way). And the videos ) are cut at the end especially in the last lessons (weeks 6 & 7) and they start over without warnings.
Great job and thanks for sharing!
By Marion S•
I found many interesting insights into how dogs became man's best friend and into dog cognition. However, some of the points were belabored far too long; in addition, problems in dog behavior--such as biting etc.--were not really dealt with at all. For me, the promise of knowledge of dogs leading to knowledge of self remained unfulfilled. I could also have used more practical insights into how a dog can be guided (trained) to become the ideal companion.
By KWOK J H E•
The research done and presented by Dr Hare is very insightful and in depth. However, I believe that it would be beneficial for both Dr Hare & the student to have access to summarized content. Many a time Dr Hare went a little off-tangent explaining about the cognition of other species which might seem a little irrelevant to the course topic. Nonetheless, the course was very comprehensive and i wish Dr Hare all the best in his future research.
By Kate C•
Solid entry level course to dog cognition. I would have preferred that it focused more strongly on dogs, and payed less attention to how information about dogs can help us understand humans. The section on general domestication was phenomenal, and the bonobo to chimp comparisons were incredibly helpful. I would have appreciated deeper analysis on what each of the five cognitive domains for dognition were, and what they actually meant.
By Julie B•
This course was short and interesting. Maybe the presenter tried a little too much to sell his book but I still watched until the end and found out many new things that I now notice with my dog! I really think this helpted me understand my dog in a different way, but I do wish there had been more studies/facts about dogs (longer course I guess). I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn more about how dogs think.
By Andrew W•
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. As a dog lover of over 60 years I learned a lot especially in the first 4-5 weeks. At times I felt this course was an advertisement for the book (which I did not read or buy) and the cognition website which I did use. The lecturer went to great effort to say it was not necessary to buy either, but his repetition made me feel otherwise. The last few weeks of the course seemed rather simplistic.
By Lilibeth S•
As a dog lover I went into this course super excited to learn more about dogs. While it was interesting I wish the focus had not been too diverted away from dogs and onto other animals. Sure some of it was necessary and interesting to hear but would've been better had it been more in depth and focused on dogs. Overall enjoyable and interesting. My biggest issue as others have mentioned was the constant self promotion.
By chloe b•
I really enjoyed this class and learned a lot about evolution, domestication, animals in general & dogs specifically. At times I thought the course was slightly focussed on "marketing" the professor's book and website, but that's pretty much my only complaint! Also, I don't have a dog so I couldn't view the Dognition games and "lab" exercises- so if you have a dog you might get even more out of the course than I did!
The course was very thorough and presented multiple aspects of how dogs have evolved, domestication processes, and cognitive ability. However, it is extremely reliant on the Dognition website and delves more into the history of dogs rather than the present. Overall, it a good course for those who are just being introduced to having dogs as pets and want to learn more about how they may think and learn.
By Jonaki T•
Very interesting information about dogs that's also a 'myth burster' of sorts for me. Dr. Hare 's video's were not only well made but also well spaced. I found a few quiz questions difficult to understand even though I paid close attention to all lessons. But hey- I passed the final quiz in first attempt so Its all good! Thanks Dr. Hare & Duke University for making this 'different' course available!!
By Matthew H•
I learned a great deal from this class and Dr. Hare did a remarkable job teaching the course. The reason I gave four stars instead of five is because Dr. Hare continued to promote his book and Dognition, to the point that some lectures began to sound more like advertisements. Besides that it was a wonderful experience, and I have no doubt the knowledge gained will be useful in my own work with dogs.
By Carolyn G•
This is a fun course. However, there is not much content on dog emotion, and lots on evolution (not limited to dogs). It is straightforward and slowly enough paced that no one should be afraid it will be too difficult for them, and the instructor is enthusiastic and eloquent. I have a PhD in a related field and I learned quite a bit, so I would recommend this course to others.
By Tracy H•
This was a good course. The lectures were a good length, they were interesting and very easy to understand. The lecturer was articulate and easy to follow. I liked the way the readings supported the course and the dognition stuff will be really useful. The citizen science material was also interesting. A useful and practical course that was fun and interesting to do.
By D P•
I really enjoyed the course. Especially when discussing the history of evolution. I appreciated the comparisons with other animals/species as examples to points that were being made.
In some ways it was not exactly what I thought it would be, however I still enjoyed the course and learned a great deal. Thank you! I look forward to using "Dognition" with my bestie.