Free Online Course For People Who Want To Get Inside Their Dog’s Hea

Duke University and Coursera team up to offer “Dog Emotion and Cognition,” a web course that introduces humans to the science of dog psychology.


So I thought I knew all there was to know about what goes on behind those little brown eyes, but I stand corrected. Duke University has introduced a free online course called “Dog Emotion and Cognition” that implies I’ve only just the scratched the surface.


Let’s see… I know that if I offer my boy two milk bones and one is broken, that he will grab the whole one. So he’s quick at assessing the situ. Also, when I leave the sofa he will immediately steal my nicely warmed seat. That means he is calculated and oh so patient. When I go into the store he will immediately assume the driver’s seat. I deduce he understands hierarchy and has decided he is ready to fill the power seat. But while my observations are considered “practice”, Duke University (perfect name, right?) teaches the theory, taking a deeper dive at how our dogs think and teaching pet parents and those in the dog industry how to better understand the canine persona.


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Ready to bone up on what makes your little guy tick? Enter Dr. Brian Hare, Duke’s evolutionary anthropology professor and teacher of the online course that is offered through Coursera. Coursera is a site that teams up with colleges and universities all over the world and to date, Hare’s course has seen more than 10,000 students enroll within the first two weeks.


It’s designed to introduce dog psychology to any level of dog enthusiast – hence the staggering enrollment numbers – and was adapted from the seminar of the same name that Hare teaches at Duke.


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Taught through entertaining video versus the dread PowerPoint webinar, courses include such intriguing titles as:


  • The Paradox of a Best Friend That Evolved From Our Worst Enemy
  • Dogs Are Cognitively Remarkable
  • Evolutionary Accidents and Survival of the Friendliest
  • Problems That Dogs Can and Cannot Solve
  • Finding Your Dog’s Genius


Throughout, Dr. Hare discusses dog’s abilities to understand physical problem solving compared to other species, suggests cognitive games you can play with your own pooch, and debunks the myths about what creates an aggressive dog.


Sound easy? Don’t wag that tail too soon, there is an online chat room to keep you engaged and a final exam at the end of the course.


Hare’s online class roster is diverse, with less than half of students signing in from the United States, and the student age ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, with the largest percentage of studies being members of “Generation X and Generation Y dog lovers.” With a degree in anthropology, Hare says his passion for psychology and dogs gives him the credentials needed to teach students how their dogs think.


Intrigued? Sign up for the free online Dog Emotion and Cognition course now.


[Source: USA Today]

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

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