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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Brainiac

A personality test for dogs

And other recent highlights from the Ideas blog

Is your dog a “Stargazer”? A “Maverick”? An “Einstein” in furry disguise? For $59.95, a new company called Dognition will diagnose your dog’s personality and explain how he thinks about the world.

The service, which launched on Feb. 5, is the brainchild of Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University and also the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Hare received his PhD from Harvard under the tutelage of renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham; over the last decade he has become a prolific voice in academic and popular circles on the subject of how dogs think, and together with his wife, Vanessa Woods, he recently published the book “The Genius of Dogs.” In an interview with Science last month, Hare explained that he decided to turn his research into a business at the urging of some entrepreneurial colleagues. To use Dognition, you fill out a personality questionnaire about your dog on the company’s website and then receive a Canine Assessment Toolkit in the mail. The kit includes equipment and instructions for playing 10 games with your dog that will reveal aspects of his personality.

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