Dognition for pandemic boredom |

Dognition for pandemic boredom

Kathleen Williams-Miller
Chewy is a sweet two-year-old Husky. He was recently shaved so his fur is very short. Amazingly, Chewy can jump straight up on all four paws: which is quite a trick! He is a bit shy at first, but he warms up quickly. Can you find room in your heart and home for this guy? Come out and witness his amazing trick.

Do you and your dog need a break from the boredom of pandemic shut-in? A fun solution is Dognition. Dognition is the brain child of Dr. Brian Hare from Duke University. He and his team designed activities that assess your dog’s abilities. You work with your dog doing the activities and record the data on line.

There are five experiments and we spent about 20 minutes a day for five days doing them. We played science-based games that assessed five core dimensions: empathy, communication, cunning, memory, and reasoning. The experiments identify the dog’s cognitive style and the strategies your dog uses. It was fascinating watching Watson’s reactions to the different tests.

The empathy test has two parts: the yawn game and the eye contact game. Communication had two parts also: arm pointing and foot pointing. Cunning had three parts, which required Watson to resist temptation. Memory had three parts and many trials using treats. Reasoning was the most difficult, because it required concentration.

When all the tests were finished, we received a 15-page Dognition Profile Report that provided analysis and insight about Watson from some of the world’s top canine experts.  

There are nine profile types: Ace, Maverick, Charmer, Socialite, Protodog, Renaissance, Expert, Stargazer, and Einstein. It turns out that Watson is an Ace: He is bonded to his people, can read us like a book, obeys commands, resists temptation, and solves problems.

He is a real Sherlock Holmes of dogs, so I guess we named him the wrong name. He should be Sherlock, not Watson. Oh well, it’s elementary, my dear Watson. If you are interested in finding out more about your dog and having fun, go to; it’s a great cure for boredom!  


We need someone with a big truck (that can be loaded from a dock) who is willing to pick up food from Chewy’s. If you are that person, give us a call at 775-423-7500

Items for the CAPS annual garage sale. Call 775-423-7500 to have us pick up items.

Aluminum cans. If you have cans to pick up, give us a call (775-423-7500), and we will come get them. You can also drop them off at CAPS. 

Folks who need help affording spaying/neutering for dogs or cats. SNAPS program details are below.


Diane, Pauline, Rebecca, Tim, and Sam for your dedication to CAPS. All tails are wagging for you!


It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Thurm Hiskett. Mr. Hiskett was one of the original volunteers who helped establish CAPS. In fact, he built our road. He gave unselfishly of his resources, time, and effort. He was a beloved member of our community and will be missed.  


CAPS is open, by appointment only, for adoptions, SNAPS, and food pantry. We cannot accept volunteers until further notice. Call 775-423-7500. 


July Pet Holiday: National Mutt Day is July 31. 

SNAPS is a program offered to Churchill County residents through CAPS that provides low-cost spay/neutering for cats and dogs. To qualify for SNAPS, you need to have one of the following: Medicaid, a child enrolled in NV Check Up Program, food stamps, 2019 tax return stating income is less than $30,000 or Veterans disability card including a photo ID. Also required are a Churchill County ID and a co-pay. For more information, call CAPS at 423-7500.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likeable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.                                                                  

Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Contact me at