Ernie’s Charmed Life

I brag about my dog Ernie to anyone who will listen – the vet, folks at the dog park, or my friends and family (as any proud mama would). I think he is incredibly smart and the sweetest dog on earth — all 9.8 lbs of him.


In September, I started working with Dognition, and Ernie and I got to play an early version of the games that make up the Dognition Assessment Toolkit. We found out that he is a Charmer, which I think makes perfect sense! Being a Charmer means that Ernie relies on my fiancé and me to help him navigate the world – we call him a “smooth operator.” We also learned that he’s incredibly empathetic (he gives the sweetest hugs and kisses).

This was very cool to discover, because empathy is a big component of what I try to incorporate into what I do for Dognition – experience design. Through these early experiences with Dognition and our beta program, I’ve been able to connect with other owners and their dogs while they play the games. Each instance tests our system design, improves how we instruct and communicate the games, and generates feedback so we can continually improve what Dognition will soon offer the world.

We’re currently testing the new games that will arrive every month with a Dognition Membership. Our goal is to make the games fun and easy to do at home without a bunch of fancy equipment – something you could pick up on a weekend afternoon when you want to interact with your dog.

How do we ensure this? This is the fun perk of working with Dognition. We take the games home and play them with our families and dogs. Ernie loves being a part of research. One, he knows he will get treats. Two, he gets to spend time with his favorite humans. We enjoy trying out the games because it gives us a new human-dog activity and lets us watch Ernie’s mind work. It’s really exciting to learn something new about him!

I hope you’ll love the tools that Dognition will bring you in the next few months.