Friday, August 28, 2015

The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

Summary: Brian Hare, Founder of Duke Canine Cognition Center, and his colleague, V. Woods, present their findings at the center and also review of the literature regarding dog's intelligence, their connection to humans as well about what it is to be a genius!



b." The Genius of Dogs and The Hidden Lives of Wolves" by M. Bekoff, Psychology

Suggested additional reading - a story that perhaps inspired Brian Hare? : Kurt Vonnegut, "Welcome to the Monkey House: Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog"


Our Discussion Questions:
1. What are the advantages of natural selection versus self-domestication for wolves/dogs? What are roles for each of these? See page 105 for discussion, including about Bonobos, the dog of Apes.
2. How can friendliness and socialization contribute to survival for all species? See pages 112-114.
3. After reading this book, do you think humans are more similar to bonobos or chimpanzees, behaviorally? 
4. What impact can self-domestication have on a ecosystem?
5. How do both self-domestication and assisted domestication contribute to the development of dogs?
Who domesticated whom?
6. Compare the social structures of wolves versus dogs?
7. How important was the Russian experiment of domesticating silver foxes for understanding dog domestication?
8. Which domesticated animals share some of the same relationship characteristics as dogs with humans?  Which are more similar and which are less so?