Is your dog really as dopey as it seems, or is it just playing dumb to get its own way? Have you ever wondered why your pet runs round in circles, or barks at random things? It could be all down to their personality type.
The Dognition site, based in North Carolina, uses questionnaires and games to help dog owners determine how empathetic their pet is, how clever it is at solving problems, whether it is choosing to ignore you or genuinely doesn’t know what you’re saying, and more.
Dogs are assigned personality types with character traits and these can be compared to other dogs of the same breed, age and size, as well as other breeds.
It can be used by owners to learn more about how their dog thinks, train their pet more effectively or help decide which breed of dog to get next, for example.
Pet owners begin by filling out a personality questionnaire about their dog, including whether it is well-behaved, whether it listens to instructions, how it responds to being left alone or told off and so on.
Based on the results of this test, the owners are given a series of science-based games, designed to test a dog’s level of empathy, communication, cunning – including whether they are trustworthy and loyal, or wily and devious – memory, and reasoning abilities.
Empathy involves reading and responding to the emotions of others, Communication tests how a dog uses information from others to learn about their environment, to test Cunning the games see how dogs use information to avoid being found out when doing something wrong.
The Memory game tests how the dogs use past experiences to influence future choices, and Reasoning looks into how the dog finds a solution to a new problem.
These include a yawning game, to test whether a dog yawns with an owner and is therefore empathetic.
Another is an arm pointing game, designed to test communication skills, in which the owner points at a treat and the dog has to respond.
Once the owner plays the games, all the results are fed into the database and Dognition creates a detailed Profile Report that explains how the dog thinks.
Each dog is also categorised into one of nine personality types, including Einstein, Expert, Socialite, Stargazer, Charmer, Renaissance, Protodog, Maverick and Ace.