Chevron Left
Back to Dog Emotion and Cognition

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

4,525 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


Invalid date

Great course! It develops each topic comprehensively and combines old and new approaches to how we can improve our relationship with our dogs and help dogs learn to be included in our society.


Invalid date

Interesting insights about how dogs think and what we perceive through their behavior. Taken purely for personal enrichment. Wish I'd had more time available to work with the lab material.

Filter by:

51 - 75 of 1,345 Reviews for Dog Emotion and Cognition

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 April D

Aug 26, 2020

The short 5 minute videos were too short and made it difficult to follow. Often times the video would end in the middle of a sentence.

Also too much cross selling trying to get people to use the paid site.

By Lindsay E

Jun 22, 2020

Subject matter is very interesting, but the instructor saying um and uhh way too much was very distracting and annoying.

By Judi M H

Nov 5, 2018

videos are terribly boring.... lectures are very uneven in information and interest. Reading material is worthless. The idea of the course is good, but this one needs a lot more work for me to spend my valuable time on it.

This is basically an as for the instructor's book and a website called dognition. And it's a bad ad...

By Rebecca K

May 20, 2020

He advertised his book and game A LOT. Either give it to your students, require it for the class, or suggest/plug it a couple times and drop it

By ohad n

Feb 8, 2020

The course is not interesting. A lot of nothing was talked.

I didnt got realy much from the course.

By Yuxi X

Mar 22, 2016

The professor talks too much about the website and his book! That doesn't make any sense!

By R R

Jan 21, 2023

This course had the potential to share some very valuable information, but instead of feeling as though I learned something about canine cognition, I feel as though I have been subjected to an hours-long infomercial for the instructor's side hustle. He could have mentioned his book and website once or twice, but instead in each lecture he drones on…and on…and on about his so-called “citizen science” website, which is in reality a “pay to play” club type website. It isn’t citizen science if one must pay to participate. I’m sure Dr. Hare is aware of this, but chose to cash in on the opportunity for self-promotion. As with all Coursera courses, you get what you pay for, and I am quite reluctant to enroll in any of the paid courses, given the abysmal quality of the free courses.

By Madisyn M

Aug 24, 2023

I'm not sure why this course has the title it does. There is nothing on dog emotion at all, a lot of frivolous "information," and it is 98% an ad for the lecturer's website and book. Not to mention, over half the course is about humans and primates??? At least it will look nice on a resume. If you're a dog trainer, dog trainer apprentice, or in a field in the dog world, skip this course. I finished the course in 5 hours total when it says 22 hours minimum, and I've learned MUCH more about dog emotion and cognition from actually interacting with dogs at my job. There are very few things you can learn from this course, but one of them is that I need to thoroughly check the reviews of each course I decide to take from here on out.

By Monika M

Jan 4, 2016

I have fallen asleep during 3/4th week, and it have never happened to my during any of the Coursera courses... I'm sorry, but it completely failed my expectations. 3 weeks out of 7 gone, and I have learnt absolutely nothing about dogs. Yes, I got some psychological basis, but that's not what I looked for/ The lecturer politely suggests to buy his book ... well if it is the same quality as the presented course, than it's useless...

By Djulio L

Jan 27, 2021

too much filler, lack of depth, too promising title

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 Julie P d M

Mar 25, 2024

I learned some basic information about the evolution of cognitive studies for both humans and animals. I'm a dog trainer who grew up in a family that bred and trained German Shepherd Dogs. I stopped training professiinaly from about 1997-2019, as I could no longer support using even the mildest of chain correction collars. Then I discovered for myself the power of positive reinforcement, then LIMA, training methods. My most surprising takeaway has been how new (less than 20 years) much of the cognitive approach to dog training is! It's definitely given me a greater appreciation of the new skills I've developed, and continue to develop via courses like this. I've added "join Dognition as a Citizen Scientist" to my business goals for the second quarter of 2024. It's also led me to do more looking into the data on Dognition, particularly as it relates to social learning. How can I best use this to help dogs and their people? How can I effectively integrate this into group classes? Can I use confident dogs to help less confident or reactive dogs learn more desirable (to humans) behaviors? Can dogs more easily generalize behaviors if I use written word cues instead of verbal cues (again, in a group class context)? For every question here, I've 10 more in my notebook. I look forward to exploring them all!

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.


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.