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

  1. 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
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. What behaviors are known to be instinctive for dogs other than stalk/pounce predatory sequence?

    What behaviors are known to be instinctive in dogs other than the stalk/eye/pounce predatory sequence?

    4 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Science  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. 4 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Do dogs pout?

    Every day, when our dog realizes my girlfriend and I are getting ready for work, she plops down in one spot, and just kind of lays there, not really making eye contact, not looking around and not sleeping. Usually, she is attached to us at the hip, actively trying to guard the house or sleeping... is it possible that she's pouting?

    4 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. 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
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. 4 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. 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.

    4 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. 3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. 3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Dog Ownership  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Your question has been answered by Dr. Brian Hare:

    You shouldn’t worry about your dog going first through a doorway or any other signs of ‘dominant behavior’. The idea that you should be the alpha dog is based outdated wolf research, which studies now show does not apply to dogs.

    For a long time many people thought that because dogs evolved from wolves, wolves were a good model to understand dog behavior. Although they do share much of the same DNA, we have since learned that their pack structures and social behavior are actually very different.

    If you look at packs of feral dogs, or dogs who live without human interference, research shows that they look to the dog with the most friends. There is no single dominant pair that uses violence and dominant behavior, instead when deciding where to go feral dogs follow the dog with the largest…

  10. 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.…

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Why does my dog seem more protective of me (a woman) than my male counterpart?

    When I take my dog out for walks or to the dog park on my own, she's much more likely to act nervously toward strangers and other dogs. For instance, she frequently will get in between me and a stranger, and will sometimes bark. This is behavior she never shows when we both take her someplace, or when my partner takes her out on his own. Do dogs distinguish between gender? Or is it more likely to have to do with size? Does my pup believe that I need protecting more than my partner does?

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. 3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Health  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. 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
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Why is it easier for my dog to learn verbs than nouns?

    It is much easier to teach my OES to learn to do something than to identify something. Why is that?

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Why do dogs go around in circles before laying down?

    My dog always does this on his little doggy bed.

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Why does my dog poop while he walks and how can I get him to stop this habit?

    Half the time when I walk my dog, when he stops to poop he will start to walk again while he is still urinating. How can I get him to stop this habit without him thinking that I'm trying to teach him that urinating is wrong?

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Training  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Tina

    Tina plays tug,wrestle, chase, happily for ages with her 1 doggy friend.
    When we introduced a boomer ball, and jolly egg, the friend became possesive, and Tina didnt want to play with her.
    Why? was it because they can't pick them up? Should we persevere, or discontinue?

    3 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Dog Toys  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Callie's swimming routine

    Callie has a swimming routine. She retrieves her "floating" frisbee, swims to shore, climbs up some stone steps, runs across a "party pad", gangway, and boat dock, drops the frisbee for me to throw, and then jumps in the water to retrieve it again. Yesterday, she got all the way to the end of the dock without her frisbee. With only a little encouragement, she ran back to where she had left it on the steps, ran back to the end of the dock, and put the frisbee down for me to throw. What kind of "thinking" or "Intelligence" is…

    2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Canine Cognition  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. 2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. 2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: Facebook Google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  • Don't see your idea?

Feedback and Knowledge Base