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Rodrigo, Kimberly Gauthier, Dog with Frisbee, Dog Running, Dog Playing, Keep the Tail Wagging

I received a free membership to Dognition.  It’s a site that gives you a series of questions to answer about your dog and a series of games to play with your dog and when you’re done, you get a personality test that tells you all about your dog.  From there, you can compare your results with those of other dogs and use what you learned to improve your relationship with your dog.

I was excited about getting started.

I thought this was a fantastic idea.

I don’t have time for something like this.

I knew this when I received the membership, but hoped to make the time.  But having four dogs and no privacy makes finding the time and space alone to play the games difficult.  Tack on to that a full time job, a full time business, and my much needed downtime and I earned an F in Dognition.

Dognition Test: The Sympathetic Yawn

I did take the time to start the process and what I was trying to do is get Rodrigo to yawn when I yawned.  I thought this would be easy, because he yawns when he’s confused, when he’s trying to settle down, and when he doesn’t know what’s going on.  But he didn’t yawn.  Not once.

It could be that he’s so comfortable with me that being in a room with me and silently playing the game just wasn’t stressful enough to elicit a yawn.  But what about the contagious yawn?  Where’s the love, Rodrigo?

Dognition told me not to read into anything, but who are they kidding?  Of course I was reading all kinds of things into the failure to elicit a yawn from my dog.

  • we don’t have that strong of  a bond
  • Rodrigo could live with me, or live without me
  • my baby doesn’t love me

Yes, a little overboard, but it was That Week too so I’m allowed.

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice With Moxie, Rodrigo, HDR

Understanding Why Dogs Yawn

Dogs yawn when…

  • they’re tired,
  • they’re stressed,
  • they’re trying to calm down,
  • they’re trying to avoid conflict,
  • when the humans around them are fighting (associated with stress).

And they’re finding that dogs yawn when someone familiar to them (like ME) yawns.  But the empathic yawn aside, Rodrigo wasn’t tired, stressed, trying to calm down or avoid conflict.  He was with me and chilling out.

Okay, I feel better now.

An Update: My Thoughts on Dognition

More than 6 months later, I have yet to visit Dognition again.  Why?  We have 4 dogs and with my schedule, it’s nearly impossible to separate one dog from the pack to play the games Dognition provides.  I do think the service is interesting, but it’s not valuable for me and I know that I will never use it.

I’d rather take our dogs outside and play a game, go for along walk, or simply play tug of war with a holey sock I pull out of the dryer.  I learn just as much from our dogs through these activities and they’re free.

If I had one dog and less on my plate, I think I would be very interested in Dognition.  But with 4 dogs, a full time job, a full time business, chores, friends, and hobbies – I just couldn’t make the time.

Other Dognition Reviews

If you’d like to learn how Dognition is supposed to really work, check out these reviews from fellow dog lovers; it really is a cool tool and I wish I would have been able to make more time with Rodrigo to check it out.

And the other day, Rodrigo barked at me and whined.  I looked at him and said “you can come cuddle with me if you’d like.”  He sat there watching me for another 5 minutes, then got up, crawled over Sydney to get to me, cuddled up with me and we took a long nap (and I missed the BlogPaws Twitter Party).  Of course my dog loves me.


So does your dog yawn when you yawn?

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