Tests reveal how dogs learn - FOX 13 News

Tests reveal how dogs learn

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

If your pup can sit, stay and shake, that's great. But when it comes to how your dog learns, that's an entirely different animal.

A small North Carolina web-based company is out to help you get to know your dog and how he or she thinks by playing "games" you can do at home.

A Duke University professor is behind "Dognition," the culmination of years of research on dog behavior.

We recruited Tampa dog trainer Kim Lewis to try it out. Lewis is a certified tricks trainer whose own two dogs know lots of tricks and are learning more all the time.

Briscoe and Gibson will jump, spin and jump through hoops at her command. Lewis was eager to explore Dognition and see how her two fur kids scored.

"It was really neat to see if how I viewed them is how they really are," Lewis said.

Dognition provides a series of questionnaires, tests and games to determine how your dog thinks. One of the games she does with her one-year-old lab, Gibson, tests her communication style. Lewis shows us how it's done.

"I'm gonna call her name, show her that I have a treat...set it down on my left side but point to my right and release her," Gibson said.

When Lewis' partner releases Gibson, she follows her nose to the treat, not to the side where Lewis is pointing.

There's a similar test for her little pug, Briscoe, who as of June 26th, was the only pug in the world with the title of Advanced Trick Dog.

Lewis puts down a treat, instructs him to leave it, then turns her back. Briscoe doesn't even flinch...he's the picture of obedience.

Dognition takes all that information and classifies dogs into nine different profiles...from Stargazer to Maverick to Einstein.

Our camera is rolling as Lewis logs on to find out Gibson's profile.

"She's a Socialite! A friend to all!"

The tests confirm her fun-loving lab adores her and showing off. It's a revelation Lewis says will help her with Gibson's training.

It's good to know that she'll train just as well for these treats and for me as to have a good time, to have a fun time while she's at it."

Gibson's profile also reveals her collaborative communication style and impressive reasoning skills.

But the surprise of the day is Briscoe. Lewis was certain her little pug would be a Renaissance dog. Briscoe turns out to be a Socialite too!

" He's a therapy dog as well and whenever we do the therapy, he just loves being around all those people, making them smile, and the more they smile the more his tail wags," Lewis said.

Lewis says what she has learned about Gibson and Briscoe will definitely help her with their training. But she also thinks this is valuable information for anyone who cares as much about their dogs as she does.

"I want to make sure they're happy and well taken care of because they would do it for me if they had thumbs, so I want to do it for them," Lewis said.


More information:

The basic Dognition "took kit" is $39 per dog. Here's the website:

Lewis teaches an 8-week tricks class for dogs. Her next class starts August 20th: http://dogtrainingtampabayflorida.com/dog-training-classes/tricks-class/


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