The Genius of Dogs

Website collects data from 'citizen scientists' to study canine cognition

Dognition.com, created by two Duke professors, is scheduled to debut today. The site offers dog-owning customers a series of tests to determine their pooch's relative strengths and weaknesses in various thinking skills, from empathy to cunning to memorization.

As users enter the results of their individual dogs' behaviors, they will be acting as "citizen scientists," by contributing to a data set that can be used by researchers studying dog cognition.

The two professors behind the site are Brian Hare in evolutionary anthropology and Kip Frey, J.D. '85, in the Law School and School of Public Policy.

Hare is the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center which studies animal cognition. His new book "The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think" is also set to release today.

Frey is a professor of the practice at Duke's Sanford School and the director of Duke's Law and Entrepreneurship Program and a serial entrepreneur, running technology companies such as Accipter and OpenSite.

The cost to use dognition.com is $59.95 for a one-time assessment and then $9.95 per month for ongoing activities and updates.

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