Canines and humans are not only connected by companionship. In fact, we are evolutionarily linked and tied together by something far more complex—our brains. Join canine expert Dr. Brian Hare as he takes a peek into the inner workings of a dog’s brain through the lens of human cognition. With a mix of upbeat stories andinformative interviews from leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, veterinarians, and dog owners, Dr. Hare tackles questions of memory, word learning, nutrition, and even love. DogSmarts is sponsored by Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind, a breakthrough in pet nutrition created to nourish a dog’s mind. Discover more at BrightMindEffect.com.
Get to Work
Dogs have more jobs now than ever before. They help people with disabilities, and their presence can even help make sick people feel better. Dr. Hare speaks with several experts in the field of working and therapeutic dogs, and concludes that our furry friends have a rare and unique ability—plus the desire to work—to be our best friends . Featured Guests: Betsie Hughes and her CCI Service Dog, Hansen III; Jamie Togal, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor at Leader Dogs for the Blind; Paul Mundell, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence.
We can’t help it if we love our dogs so much. There are very scientific reasons for this social bond: Dogs physiologically win over our hearts by causing our brains to release the chemicals responsible for feel-good emotions. Dr. Hare explores the importance of love and what it means for our relationship with dogs, and, most importantly, how they are one of the only animals on Earth to tap into this. Featured Guests: Ragen McGowan, Senior Scientist in the Behavior Group at Nestle Research and Development Center; Sue Carter, Director of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington; Ramiro Joly-Mascheroni, PhD Student at the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit at City University London; Dr. Evan MacLean, Assistant Professor, School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.
Do you talk to your dog? Do you ever wonder if they actually understand what you are saying? Dr. Hare discusses how much our dogs understand about what we say and do, and how a dog named Rico learned to memorize and associate over 200 words. Featured Guests: Dr. Josep Call, Professor in the Evolutionary Origins of Mind at the University of Saint Andrews; Dr. Adam Miklosi, Head of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary.
Canines have incredible memories. It is a powerful part of cognition. And just like in humans, there are different kinds of memory in dogs. In this episode, Dr. Hare chats with a top expert in the field of canine cognition who specifically studies memory in man’s best friend. Featured Guest: Dr. Evan MacLean, Assistant Professor, School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.