'Dognition' promises to reveal secrets about your dog

Test looks at personality, memory, thinking skills

ORLANDO, Fla. - Whether they're eating our clothes, making a mess, or ignoring us completely -- we've all wondered why our pets do the things they do. Now, a new program called "Dognition" promises to take you inside your dog's head like never before.

Helaine and Bob Weidner are running out of room in their home, because they're sharing the space with four greyhounds.

"If we had a bigger place, we'd probably have more," says Helaine Weidner.

In their house, one dog in particular, 2-year-old Kennedy, really stands out from the rest.

"She's a little troublemaker," says Helaine Weidner. "She likes to take my husband's hats. She rips them up."

The couple is looking for answers as to why Kennedy behaves the way she does.

"She tends to be a little on the destructive side," says Bob Weidner. "If I can learn something -- what's going through their head -- I would be thrilled to know more."

This couple got that chance thanks to Dognition -- a program created by scientists at Duke University that promises to reveal secrets about your pet's personality and how they think, so you can better understand, train and bond with them.

After finishing the 2-hour test, you get a full report that shows how smart your dog is.

The Weidners broke their test up into a couple days -- first, seeing how long Kennedy would hold Helaine's gaze, and how well she followed commands.

"I would think the ones that could benefit the most would be dog owners that are first-time dog owners and still learning," says Bob Weidner.

Todd Langston, a dog behavior expert who's been training man's best friend for nearly a decade, agrees.

Langston used Dognition with his 4-year-old pet, Almondine.

"I liked the direction. I liked the concept," he said. "But I didn't see it give any advice. It was more a measurement. In my opinion, it's too scientific."

The Weidners also said that Dognition didn't give them the answers they were hoping for.

"It kind of told me what I already knew," says Helaine Weidner. "I know she's mischievous; it said she's wily. I wanted to know why. It didn't really explain to me why."

Of course, every dog is different -- and Langston says this test can help certain people.

"Let's say they just got a dog from a rescue or they adopted it. I think what you'll get out of it is how well your dog follows your direction," Langston said.

The basic version of Dognition costs $30. But for $100, you'll have access to a team of dog experts, so you can find out why your pet eats your hats, or why they act differently around certain people.

To sign up for Dognition, or to learn more about the program, click here.

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