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
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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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.