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

4,385 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


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.


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

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1226 - 1250 of 1,293 Reviews for Dog Emotion and Cognition

By Mimi G

Feb 26, 2016

It was a lot of fun!


Dec 31, 2015

So much interesting

By Stephen D

Jan 2, 2016

Great class!

By Ivy C

Aug 16, 2021


By Liz V

Apr 2, 2020

Really nice


Sep 11, 2015

should know

By Daniel A S B

Sep 23, 2015


By mayra d

May 19, 2022


By Yuduan L

Mar 30, 2016

Quite f

By Namnisha R

Dec 9, 2020


By Sara B T

May 3, 2018


By Li A

May 17, 2022


By Antoinette S

Nov 18, 2016

I may have gotten more out of this course if I hadn't already read "The Genius of Dogs".

I would like to suggest that the slides be subjected to more rigorous proofreading, as I came across several typographical errors. It doesn't look professional.

On quizzes, when a student is asked to select the one FALSE answer, please remove any "all of the above are TRUE" statements. A mentor replied to another student who pointed out this conumdrum on the Week 7 Forum with: "I understand where you are coming from Phil, but only one of the answers as an individual answer is incorrect. The answer "all of the above are correct" is neither true nor false, as only one of the answers in the 'all' is the exception." And I say that if I have a bouquet of roses, 11 red ones and 1 yellow and I were to say that "all of the roses in my bouquet are red" you would correct me, as one is not, and "all" demands 12 out of 12, otherwise, it is not all. Should you still feel a quibble, let me suggest that you contact the Department of Philosophy, ask for someone expert in symbolic logic and run it by him/her.

By Mai K M

Nov 25, 2020

Although Professor is a dog lover, this is not a course on 'how to train your dog' rather than presenting case studies and research on behaviors in dogs, apes, wolves, etc historically through evolution. Heavy plug-in for his book and website. I appreciate the study but I wouldn't recommend it especially if you are looking for methods to train, change your dog's behavior. It's educational but lengthy, and I didn't find the content personally applicable.

PROS: I give 4 stars for enthusiastic speaker. Well organized slides. Easy 2 question quizzes after each segment.

CONS: I give 2 stars on content didn't keep me engaged. I had to take breaks and come back to digest the lecture. I did not purchase the Professor's book which (he refers to often) and the free games he mentioned were not readily available on his website Dognition to practice with my dog with purchasing a subscription. So without free tools, felt lacking the application and lost interest.

Total 3 stars. Appreciate the good info but for time-sake I would not recommend doing the whole course.


Nov 23, 2021

I am a professional biologist, and a professional, force-free dog trainer. Overall this course was pretty good; however, I felt there was too much too much emphasis on Dognition. I liked learning about it, and where to access it if I wished, but at times this course felt like a marketing pitch for Dognition. I am in full support of citizen science data collection, but a course (that ultimately people may choose to pay for) doesn't feel like the right place for marketing.

Dr. Brian Hare's knowledge is clearly excellent and it is evident that he is well informed regarding the newest canine cognition research. However, his delivery could use improvement. The use of filler words, such as "um" and "ah" made the course almost unbearable. This was particularly surprising given that the course was pre-recorded. There would have been ample opportunity to practice the delivery and do re-takes if the delivery didn't go smoothly etc.

Overall though, a very interesting course and a great introduction to the science of dog cognition.

By Amelie K

Dec 8, 2015

It was a little long before getting to the REALLY interesting stuff, but it's a good course for what you pay. I wish there were a follow up one, like a level 2.

I also wish that Brian didn't refer to groups of dogs as "dog packs" as dogs are not pack animals. This leads to confusion as dog owners will then believe that they need to be a pack leader and everything that comes with that stereotype. I also wish he didn't focus so much on the idea that dogs are from wolves, because again, many people revert to "this is how wolves are so this is how i treat my dog" it leads to confusion. Just read the comments on some threads. Even while doing this course, people were saying how they need to be a pack leader and how they follow what Cesar Milan does.

However, for those of us that know there is a difference, it was interesting to learn more about the differences between wolves and dogs. I just wish the course focused more on dogs

By Marco R

Aug 30, 2020

The beginning is very slow, I almost quit the first week because I felt this course was just an add for the website Dognition, I understand it´s a great tool and science is being done about it and you want to spread the word, but shoving it into every single lecture was too much. Instead there should be more focus on the actual content of the course, fleshing it out a bit better, recommending books and papers cited for those who want to take a more in-depth look at the studies, etc.

Having said that, the second part of the course really picked up and taught some interesting facts and studies with a more applicable knowledge, the studies on foxes and apes saved the journey, although I wonder if it's ok for them to be the highlight on a dog cognition course.

By Verena S

Dec 17, 2015

I enjoyed a lot of this course, especially the parts about evolution and social intelligence. Very interesting!! However, as a professional dog trainer and having studied through the Karen Pryor Academy, I was VERY disappointed to see Brian Hare's misunderstanding of clicker training. I would be happy to chat with him about the realities of clicker training and how an event marker works, if he'd be interested ;)

Futhermore, I bought the book and paid for a certificate, but because I took over 180 days to complete the course (despite the course being "self-paced, with suggested deadlines to help you keep on track), I did not get my certificate and was informed that to get it I'd have to pay again for the same product.

By Claire C

Jun 23, 2020

Dog Emotion and Cognition was an overall interesting course at beginner's level with a carefully selected range of topics. I particularly enjoyed the part about the self domestication of bonobos, and Belyaev's silver fox domestication experiments. Dr Hare also loosely illustrated how experiments were designed, conducted, and how the results were interpreted, which may be valuable to those who don't already have a scientific education background. However, the repetitive self-promotion of Dr Hare's book and website (with a paywall) in multiple lecture videos was truly annoying, and it almost put me off completing the course.

By Lucretia C

Jun 30, 2022

Didn't learn a great deal that I didn't already know. Also, I found the information, test questions, and answer choices seemed to be out of sync at times. or purposley confusing. As a retired educator and a student with learning disabilities, I find this somewhat difficult and unnecessary. It seems the average instructors forget that not every person taking her/his course learns the same way or tests the same. Even with online courses there should be a set of accommodations in place for students that are professionally classified as having some type of learning disability.  

By Johanna G

May 25, 2016

Interesting subject & Basic idea to have a dog defined for the exercises is nice but w/o dog hard to benefit. A bit too much talking in front of a wall ;-) Could benefit from more illustrative material. Graphs / Videos / Pictures. Why not show examples of Dogs doing the games, that would be great for people who do not (yet) own a dog. I was hoping to get some insight into problematic dog behaviour but maybe that was wrong expectation.

By Al G

May 16, 2020

This was a simple, but engaging course. Unfortunately, the main reason I took this course was to learn more about dog motivation, and that wasn't really discussed at all (which seems strange, considering that seems to be a pretty basic intersection of emotion and cognition). Aside from that oversight, I did learn some interesting things, especially in regards to how experimentation and behavioral studies are conducted.

By Nathan H

Mar 22, 2022

The material is reasonably interesting, but

1. There's nothing about dog emotion in the course, and it felt like less than half of the course was about dogs.

2. It seems like one of lecturer's primary motivations while creating the course was to promote his web site.

3. It seemed like there was a lot of weight put on "our modern approach is so enlightened" stuff, but there's also a lot of narrative thinking.

By Amy G

May 16, 2020

Interesting new facts on dog evolution. Course said it was free. But if you are to get anything from it, you had to purchase his books then he suggested another 30 bucks to play dog games to enhance the course. Well that means it's not free anymore. I managed to find a way to get the book free. The book was good. But only by audio. Reading it would have been boring.

Still I learned stuff I did not know.