Ask An Expert

At Dognition, we believe that shared inquiry and discovery fuel the greatest benefits for dogs and their owners. Therefore we’ve partnered with the world’s leading canine cognition experts and canine-focused institutions/organizations.

Now, you also have the opportunity to inquire and learn from our experts.

Scientific Advisory Board- The experts on dog cognition and psychology
Dr. Brian Hare
Dr. Juliane Kaminski
Dr. Josep Call
Dr. Richard Wrangham
Dr. Laurie Santos
Dr. Adam Miklosi

Expert Panel- The experts on everything else dog!
Kyra Sundance – Expert Trainer
Victoria Stilwell – Expert Trainer
Nina Ottosson- Dog Toy Designer
Richard Hawkins – Vet
Paul Mundel – Canine Companions of Independence
Betsy Saul – Petfinder Foundation

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  1. Cunning Test Question

    On the cunning test, my dog was reliable and didn't take the treat for the entire 90 seconds whether we were looking, back was turned or eyes were covered, but the graph showed her cunning as right in the middle - it seemed to us she was being extremely trustworthy, but the summary didn't agree - what would it take to get placed on the far left side of the trustworthy graph? We know it isn't a competition, this just doesn't seem to make sense so was hoping to get some clarification.

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      0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Excessive Pulling On Lead

      I own a very loving male English Setter. In the field and around the house he will try(mostly succeed) in doing what I ask. He is happy, confident, gentle and mild manner dog. Daily(most days twice) I take him to a field and release him from his leash(he's very good at following directions off lead). This is by far and away the highlight of his day. I need to take him on lead to the field through a highly urban area and he pulls excessively - he is in a hurry to get there and extremely focused on the matter.…

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        0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • 1 vote
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          0 comments  ·  Dog Ownership  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • How can we help with dog-reactivity?

          Chester is a 6 year old F! Labradoodle we adopted from a rescue at 3 1/2. He appears to be dog-reactive and becomes semi-aggressive on walks when other dogs are nearby. We have tried all types of training and are wanting to make it a pleasant experience for him on walks, can you advise?

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            0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Bored puppy

            My nearly year old Yorkie gets bored frequently. He gets at least 2 walks a day (1-3 miles each time), is taken outside numerous times daily, has tons of toys and a couple of brain games for dogs, gets playtime and trick training daily, and has bully sticks and slices to chew on. Since my husband and I are retired, he is not left alone very much. So if he is not engaged in these activities or napping, he goes in search of things to get into. (He is very good at that!) He also has a puppy friend close…

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              0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Indecisive dog?

              In the exercises with finding the hidden snack, Lizzie would just sit in front of me, right at the middle sticker, and stare at me instead of doing the exercise, as if she was waiting for me to tell her what to do. Why is she doing so?

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                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Has there been any research on dogs in Northern communities that pack and attack humans? Does this happen anywhere else?

                I would like to know why dogs in the North (and possibly elsewhere) do this, if they're provoked or so feral, they're almost wild and it's their way of surviving - are the news reports accurate? I can't help but link this to socio-economic issues and probably many other factors. Just wondering if you know of any research to direct me towards. I have read some of Dr. Boitani's work but nothing from Canada's North. Thanks.

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                  0 comments  ·  Science  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • What is the best way to transition a dog who has lived with three other dogs her whole life, to being an only dog?

                  I am moving out of my parents house and taking my chihuahua with me to my new apartment. What is the best way to go about transitioning her to being an only dog, and is there anything I can do now to help prepare her for the change?

                  3 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • How can I teach my dog not to be afraid?

                    My dog gets skittish around random moving objects. If a piece of paper is blowing in the wind and comes close to him he gets extremely frightened, and I can't bend down to pet him with anything in my hand because he'll try to get away from it. What can I do to train him not to be so afraid? Strangely enough, he's not afraid of other dogs or people, just random objects.

                    4 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • My 12 yr old Ridgeback female just started peeing inside during thunderstorms. She has never been afraid before. Any advice?

                      She is not an anxious dog, and appears self confident and self assured. After all, there are no more Lions left in our area of Connecticut. She feels she has done her job well.

                      I take her out to *** at least twice before I go to work. She has never consumed more than 4 cups of water per day, despite clean water in her bowl. She has toys to play with - balls with treats inside to play with. I m unable to get home when a thunderstorm is forecast.

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                        0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • How can I stop my dog running up to strangers and jumping up to 'kiss' them in greeting.

                        I am keeping my 18 month old dog on leash around people at the moment as he leaps up at peoples faces to greet them. This in not acceptable for most people. He has learnt not to do it to us and can be controlled at home but in the park it is an issue. Any ideas on the best way to stop this behaviour.

                        5 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • 1 vote
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                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • 4 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Treats become ineffective rewards for my dog when we're outside. I give one to him, but he drops in on the ground in favor of other things.

                              He'd rather look at fire hydrants and trees than accept a treat for good behavior. How should I reward him when we are training outside so that he will be more motivated to repeat desired behaviors?

                              5 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • My black lab female,Moana, seems to experience remorse after she misbehaves.

                                Hi, I completed the dognition assessment with our female black lab, Moana, and thought it was very interesting. She turned out to be an ACE. I wanted to know what you had to say about our dog who puts herself in time-out after she misbehaves. We started putting Moana in time-out (in her crate) when she was a puppy to correct misbehavior. Now 6 years later, when she occasionally sneaks food off the kitchen counter (usually when we're not at home), we come home to find her in time out. It doesn't take long to find the evidence of her…

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                                  0 comments  ·  Service/Therapy Dogs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • I have read that the pack concept, the need to be alpha, has been completely debunked. What do you think?

                                  The pack concept has become bedrock thinking. I have read that it has been debunked. Trainers I have talked to believe the pack concept without question.

                                  4 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • What can I do to control excitement barking in Briar-Rose? Controlling her barking when she is learning, or when she is confused.

                                    What can I do to control excitement barking in Briar-Rose? Controlling her barking when she is learning, or when she is confused. She learns, but it is difficult to show her new things through the cacophony of high pitched barking. Other instructors, like agility or freestyle have a hard time instructing me, as Briar-Rose is always barking. I've tried tugging, but as soon as I release the tug the barking starts. the same with feeding to keep her from barking - it just starts up again, when I stop. I have also trained her to go to her rug and…

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                                      0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • 3 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • why does my dog whine in the car?

                                        Like most dogs my dog enjoys getting out to new places. However, unlike most dogs he whines in the backseat during most of the ride. But if there is another dog or a person in the backseat with him he is perfectly happy. Not a peep. What can I do to make him more comfortable? He has never had any trauma in a car,

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                                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • How can I help my sensitive dog relax?

                                          I have a 6 mo. old puppy named Pepper. She learns very quickly, listens to our commands, and is a very affectionate companion. Pepper is definitely a more submissive dog. Is that something she will "grow out of" or something that we should work on with her?

                                          For example, Pepper gets very excited to sit and stay for rewards and was really enjoying the assessment. By the second game she started to seem wary of my intentions and eventually stopped listening to my commands and backed away. I've learned to stop the game at that point and let her relax.…

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                                            0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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