Today Steve and I finished playing the Dognition Cunning, Memory, and Reasoning games. And once again, all three if us wound up feeling: this is work! Dionne, who had been racing around  like a lunatic before we began, was so tired by the time we were halfway through the Reasoning section that we had to take a break. By then, Steve and I were also ready to lay down and put our heads on our paws.

At every stage, the Dognition software reminded us that there were no right and wrong answers. But we didn’t really believe it. In the Memory tests, we had to make her watch while we put treats under plastic cups that we set up on the floor next to us. Then we called her, and we were both disappointed when she didn’t go straight for the cup each time. Later, we cheered up. When we put the treat under one of two cups (one on either side of me) and made her wait while an on-screen timer counted down, she went for the correct cup four times in a row — even after having to wait for one minute, then a minute and a half, two minutes, and two minutes and a half. (Cats, the Dognition software later informed us, typically can’t remember which cup a treat is under after just ten seconds!)

Finally, we were done with all the test/games, and feedback came immediately.  Dionne, Dognition announced, is a Charmer.

As a Charmer, the software informed us, “Dionne has exceptional social skills, which means she can read your body language like a book. She is not above using this information to get her own way. Dionne is no fool when it comes to independent problem solving, and her scores reflect a keen understanding of the physical world. However, Dionne’s real genius is that she sees you as an ally and partner, and she will usually turn to you for help before trying to figure out a problem on her own.”

The report then proceeded to give us detailed information about how she did in each of the five testing areas.  Here’s a graphical representation of how she performed:

(Note that she scored literally off the chart in the (green) Memory section.  And her performance in the (orange) Empathy section was also extraordinary. “If most dogs are bonded to their owners, Dionne abosolutely adores you,” the report stated.  We liked hearing that. (Sometimes we wonder, when she’s snatched one of our possessions and is playing keep away.)

It sounds like we’ll continue to get new Dognition games to play with Dionne every month or so. If they send ’em, we’ll play ’em, work or no work. Steve and I feel intrigued by this whole line of scientific inquiry. We wonder if all the CCI puppies will turn out to be Charmers. Or will some of them fall into the other eight dog-personality categories (Socialite, Expert, Renaissance Dog, Protodog, Maverick, Einstein, Stargazer, and Ace)? Will it eventually turn out that one type of Dognition personality is most successful at becoming a working Canine Companion?

Stay tuned…

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