… there is definitely something special about the bond we have with dogs. Their ability to read our communicative gestures makes them seem “in tune” with us. And their attentiveness to our every move can’t help but make us feel special. There is one study that shows that dogs would prefer to spend time with humans than their own species, which is unusual for an animal. Every dog owner is familiar with that rise in spirits as a thumping tail greets you at the door, and from the enthusiasm dogs have for us, it’s hard to believe the feeling isn’t mutual.
Dog behavioral scientist Brian Hare
I think “dog behavioral scientist” is probably in the running for coolest job of all time. Humans and dogs have evolved hand in hand, with our ancestors selecting (on purpose and accidentally) the particular traits in these descendants of wolves that helped our tribes and villages hunt, stay safe, and be happy. No other species is so deeply in tune with what we want.
Brian Hare has also developed an online program called Dognition. For a small fee, you get a set of games to test your dog’s particular cognitive talents, helping to advance dog science while getting to know your best friend’s mind that much better.
Check out the full interview with Brian Hare: The Brilliance of the Dog Mind at Scientific American
If you really want to dig into the mind of your drooly companion, Brian and his co-researcher wroteL The Genius of Dogs.