As part of my initiation to the Dognition team, I got to play the Toolkit assessment with Teddy, the mixed-breed dog I’d been sharing my life with for just over a year. Teddy and I had a pretty good relationship already. I knew what kinds of games he liked to play (fetch), what kind of food he liked to eat (wet), and what kind of people he liked to kiss (all of them). But I still had more questions. What motivates him? Why doesn’t he tell me when his water bowl is empty? Does he love me, or the liver snacks I give him?
Assessing Teddy was as fun and fascinating as I hoped. It used some of the very same science-based games I had seen on TV specials. I had tried in the past to emulate videos I’d seen of researchers pointing at cups, but had never been sure of what the “real” method was, or what I was actually discovering.