Tonawanda News


April 15, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: 'The Genius of Dogs' a fascinating read

In college I took both an animal cognition class and an animal behavior class. Animal cognition studies an animal’s mental capabilities whereas animal behavior looks at the physical, sometimes more measurable, traits an animal performs.

The professors of both classes stated that there is a lot of great research on animal intelligence. They also both stated that performing research on domestic companion animals is very difficult because of the close connection we have to them. They warned that sometimes we might be a little biased based on our relationships.

“The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think,” by Brian Hare and wife Vanessa Woods shares new canine research and offers insights on what your dog could be thinking. This book was released early February of this year.

The book’s author, Hare, hopes that when you finish this book, you combine what you have learned with your own observations to help you lead interesting discussions and debates with your fellow dog lovers.

Cognitive science refers to intelligence in animals a little differently then what you might think. Intelligence can be measured by how successful a species has managed to survive and reproduce in as many places as possible. This is the starting point of the book. The first chapter states “dogs have spread to all corners of the world, including inside our homes, and in some cases onto our beds.” This may suggest that canines are quite intelligent.

You can have your crazy cat people, but then you also have your equally passionate dog people.

“People are having less kids and treating their dogs better than ever,” Hare wrote.

Dogs also have more jobs than ever before. There are now service dogs, military dogs, police dogs, customs dogs, conservation dogs that find scat to help estimate populations sizes, bed bug dogs, therapy dogs and dogs that get rid of geese on tarmacs.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo