Dognition Is Here!


Use promo code to get $20 off Dognition from Victoria Stilwell Positively*Offer valid through July 31, 2013*


I receive a lot of calls, emails and letters from companies and people asking for my opinion or endorsement of their new product or service. Very often, the idea behind what’s being pitched is quite interesting, and in many cases the product is actually pretty good. But I take very seriously the responsibility that I’ve been given as a public figure in the pet industry, and I feel it’s really important  to ensure that I’m very selective about those individuals and companies with whom I’m associated, even if it’s a somewhat tangential connection.

In a field as fast-growing and complex as the pet industry, it’s pretty tough to distinguish yourself with something truly novel and noteworthy which also aligns with my relatively precise requirements to promote positive training. Every now and then, however, something comes along that makes a real difference in our ability to better communicate with and live alongside man’s best friend. DogTV was one such idea, and I remain quite honored to be involved as a consultant as its footprint continues to grow around the world. The groundbreaking Canine Noise Phobia Series I developed in partnership with Through A Dog’s Ear to address noise sensitivity desensitization and prevention is another. That brings me to what I honestly believe will serve as another breakthrough in our ability to better understand our canine companions and to help build truly healthy, balanced relationships with our pets:


The brainchild of the esteemed Dr. Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and the driving force behind the Duke Canine Cognition Center, Dognition is a user-friendly, scientifically-based online tool designed to identify key personality traits in individual pet dogs while providing users ongoing support specifically tailored to their dog’s unique strong suits. Basically, think of it as a Myers-Briggs personality test for dogs with a custom-designed followup plan to help you communicate better using an enhanced understanding of what exactly makes your dog go (as well as what doesn’t.)

There are two primary components of Dognition which made my decision to join its expert panel a no brainer.

First, this is more than a cute little concept designed to help you pass some quality time with your dog. Yes, it’s fun, but there’s also real, serious science behind the Canine Assessment Toolkit (CAT) which is at the heart of Dognition. This test which serves as the entry point for a user’s experience with Dognition is the result of years of study and work by Dr. Hare and his team of behavioral scientists. It’s not for the faint of heart, as it takes a couple of hours of concerted effort, but it’s also a rewarding and enriching experience in its own right.

The second unique factor is the fact that Dognition does not simply email you a report and wish you luck. Instead, contributors such as myself have agreed to work with the Dognition team to provide a high-level followup process that includes training articles, games and suggested tools which are customized for your dog based on the results of the CAT test.

Dr. Brian Hare, Duke University behavioral scientist and co-founder of Dognition

As a leading proponent of science-based positive dog training methods, my team knows that I will not even consider partnering in any way with an entity that doesn’t fully comprehend and help to promote positive training at the expense of dominance and punishment-based ideologies. It’s an uphill battle, to be sure, so extra care must be taken to make sure that no part of anything that associated with myself and the Positively movement can even be seen to tacitly endorse methods and philosophies against which I’ve campaigned so vocally for years.

Regular readers of this website or fans of my TV shows have no doubt heard me talk about how modern behavioral science has proven to us that positive reinforcement is a more effective, longer-lasting and safer method of training than using pain, fear and intimidation. I often quote those drivers of scientific thought who have revealed some of our most dangerous and damaging misconceptions about pack leadership, misguided comparisons between dogs and wolves, dominance and punishment in dog training. Well, Dr. Hare is one of those scientists who are helping lead the way out of the darkness in terms of our understanding of our dogs and how we should treat them. That’s why I’m so excited to be working with him and the Dognition team to bring this valuable new tool to the dog-owning public.

Check out Dognition at and see for yourself. I’m pretty sure your dog will thank you as well.



Use promo code to get $20 off Dognition from Victoria Stilwell Positively*Offer valid through June 30, 2013*

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4 thoughts on “Dognition Is Here!

  1. Alex Gil

    I am very excited to read and learn more about what Dognition has to offer. I have been a dog walker for some time now and also getting more into Dog behavioral training...and I',m always looking for new and effective ways of training that is beneficial for the Dog and it's owner/handler. I completely agree that positive reinforcement is definitely more effective and longer lasting along with common sense and the correct tools for each special canine.



  2. Pingback: Dognition Is Here! | Dog Training articles

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