Dog Psychology Compared
to Human Children

Deborah Wolfe on Pet Life Radio

Deborah asks Dr. Stanley Coren to explain how dogs are equal to a 2-3 year old child and challenges him with examples that seem to show advanced abilities like the puppy who saved a building from fire and the golden retriever who kept his owner safe and warm in the cold last week in the news.  Empathy and altruism are part of the dog and 2-3 year old makeup explains the Professor.  We know that dogs work better for rewards when given intermittently but  why  does rewarding dogs (and humans) only sometimes work better than when rewards are given every time?  

The difference between your dog and the smartest dogs is a combination of genetics and upbringing and breed ;  Dr. Coren spells out the difference between dogs of ‘super’ intelligence and those more average. Does your dog seem to experience shame or pride? How about guilt? Listen to this show to find out if that’s true.  Do dogs have adhd, OCD, or autism? Dr. Coren says yes, yes and no and shares the research and some wacky examples of neurotic dogs.  Special tip from Dr. Coren on how to tell which dog left the poop accident (because his research  proves that the one that looks guilty is not necessarily the one who made the poop or dumped the garbage). If you have questions for Dr. Coren or for Deborah please send them! 

As always you can see Deborah and the dogs of Camp Good Dog playing and learning on the farm and Scarlet is expecting puppies soon so keep checking for newborn doodle pups coming in the next two weeks!


Stanley Coren is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in Psychology is from Stanford University. He is best known to the public for his popular books on dogs and on general psychological issues, however within the scientific world he is also a highly respected scientist. He has published over 350 scientific reports in professional journals as well as 19 books for students and professionals. He has received many honors and awards for his scientific work, has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was named as one of the 2000 outstanding scientists of the Twentieth Century by the International Biographical Society.

His engaging writing style has made his books for general audiences extremely popular. All of these books, including “The Intelligence of Dogs,” “How to Speak Dog,” and “How Dogs Think” have reached bestseller status. His recent his book for children, “Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?” received the Animal Behavior Society’s award for the best “Children’s book of the Year”  and also the Red Cedar Award for best children’s informational book. His newest book, “The Modern Dog,” explores the relationship between dogs and humans. He has also received the Writer of the Year, from the International Positive Dog Training Association, for his most recent works.

Many professional associations have recognized Coren’s work with dogs. He has received awards from several major police dog organizations including the California Canine Narcotic Association who cited him for his “continuing contributions toward the understanding of canine behavior.”

Coren’s knowledge of dogs has often caught the attention of the media and he has been the subject of feature articles in USA Today, New York Times, People Magazine and others. He is a popular guest with broadcast media and has been featured on numerous television programs including Oprah, Larry King, Dateline, 20/20, Maurie Povich, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, the Today Show and many more. He was the host of the nationally broadcast television show Good Dog! and is now seen regularly on Pet Central on the Pet Network. He is also a regular contributor to a number of dog and pet related magazines including Modern Dog, AnimalSense, Pets Magazine and Puppy and Dog Basics, among others.