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Dognition Teams with Purina ONE® to Enrich the Bond Between Dogs and Owners
Initiatives to Include Collaboration on Wide Range of Canine Welfare Issues

Durham, N.C. (April XX, 2013) Dognition, the science-based service that enhances the relationships between dogs and their owners, is working with Purina ONE® brand dog food to share the Dognition Experience with Purina ONE customers, contribute to groundbreaking canine research, and develop educational content and events.

A leader in pet nutrition, Purina ONE believes in Ingredients for Good™, which are the values that inspire its products and define the way the brand connects with the world. Purina ONE believes that sharing ideas and a passion for what’s possible with its partners and pet owners can make a positive difference — not only in pet nutrition, but in everything they do. Purina ONE products include the pet food brands Purina ONE SMARTblend® and Purina ONE beyOnd®. The brand is a part of Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, which is committed to enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them.

Dognition – which has already attracted users from more than 40 countries – enables dog owners to understand which strategies their dog relies on to solve every day problems. The objective is not to quantify intelligence (i.e. determine whether a dog is “smart” or “not”), but to provide owners with a “dog’s eye view” of how their best friend sees the world.

“Much like Dognition, the Purina ONE brand is inspired by a passion for pets and wonder of nature while being driven by science and innovation,” said Christina Schneider, assistant brand manager, Purina ONE brand dog food. “We continually challenge ourselves to develop a level of understanding about our canine companions that goes beyond the products we produce, and our partnership with Dognition is one more expression of that passion. We are excited about providing our customers with a way to develop a more authentic connection with their pets while learning more about dogs everywhere.”

The Dognition Experience encompasses a wide range of services and benefits for dog owners, including a series of fun, interactive games to play with their dogs. Each game is designed to assess key dimensions of intelligence: empathy, communication, cunning, memory and reasoning. The games are based on cutting-edge scientific research spearheaded by Dognition Chief Science Officer Dr. Brian Hare of Duke University.

Through the Dognition Experience, Purina ONE fans, friends, consumers and website visitors will receive a $20 off discount on the $60 service to participate in one of the largest “citizen science” undertakings ever mounted. While learning about the cognitive profiles of their own dogs, participants will contribute to the collection of data that could lead to important discoveries that will benefit all dogs.

“Research indicates that there are different types of animal intelligence,” said Dr. Hare. “One very effective way to measure these types of intelligence is through carefully-constructed cognitive game play.  When we can compare the results of those games to other dogs, we can discover each dog’s special genius.”

The data will be aggregated and evaluated by the Dognition Scientific Advisory Board, which is made up of the world’s leading canine cognition researchers. For the first time, it will be possible to examine individual differences in behavior and intelligence as it relates to breed, age, sex, training history, and a range of other important variables. This is an area in which there are many theories, but not many scientifically-based conclusions. 

“While traditional definitions of intelligence have applied a linear approach – you’re either smart or you’re not – cognitive science has shown that there are many types of intelligence, including memory, communication and reasoning,” said Dr. Hare. “We’ve discovered that dogs use specific strategies that have made them among the most successful animals on the planet. Today we can take that broad understanding and help each individual owner uncover the special genius that their individual dog possesses.”

About Dognition

Dognition is the champion for enriching the relationships between dogs and their owners through cognitive science. Dedicated to all dogs, the service is for curious owners who treasure a deeper relationship with their dogs and are excited about gaining unique insights into what makes dogs tick. By tailoring fun, science-based games to subscribers and offering everyday “citizen scientists” a chance to contribute to research that furthers the study of dog cognition. Dognition helps owners discover what is extraordinary about their dogs while contributing to the greater good of all dogs.

About Dr. Brian Hare

Dr. Brian Hare, chief scientific officer of Dognition and the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, is associate professor in evolutionary anthropology at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and one of the top canine cognition experts in the world. Dr. Hare is a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, a division of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. The North American headquarters for Nestlé Purina PetCare is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri. Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A. -- the world's largest food company. For more, visit www.purina.com.

For further information: Amy Lacker alacker@fwv-us.com (919) 277-1151