About Us

The goal of the Duke Puppy Kindergarten is to help graduate more service dogs by studying the development of their cognition. From 8 to 20 weeks old, puppies go through their final, rapid stage of brain development. By playing problem solving games with puppies at regular intervals, we can see which cognitive skills come online at which time points. The results allow us to predict which puppies are most likely to graduate as service dogs. To read more about our work, click here.

Puppies in a Row
Graduation Puppies





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“Convincingly shows that each puppy is a unique puzzle—solve it and you will have a perfect friend.”
– Anderson Cooper, Host of Anderson Cooper 360.

“A firehose of knowledge suffused with levity and charm from the ingenious minds behind the Puppy Kindergarten at Duke University.”
– Alexandra Horowitz, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Inside of a Dog

“Wonderful. These explanations of individual canine foibles will make raising your next best friend more fascinating, successful and joyful than ever.”
– Richard Wrangham, author of The Goodness Paradox

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The Genius of Dogs is a fascinating look at what goes on between the ears of the animals we share our lives with. I found it entertaining, fast-moving, and filled with gee-whiz insights that gave me a new appreciation for the complex social intelligence of man’s best friend.”
— John Grogan, author of Marley & Me and The Longest Trip Home

The Genius of Dogs is a fantastic book. It makes it very clear that there are different kinds of intelligence. All dog lovers should read this book.”
— Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation

The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs, and not just about genius. It’s an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report.”
— Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven

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“Brilliant, eye-opening, and absolutely inspiring—and a riveting read. Hare and Woods have written the perfect book for our time.”
— Cass Sunstein, author of How Change Happens and co-author of Nudge

“Powerful, insightful, accessible—this book gives me hope.”
— Megan Phelps-Roper, author of Unfollow

“How can a top predator like the wolf have evolved to become ‘man’s best friend’? Finally a book that explains in the clearest terms how friendliness and cooperation shaped dogs and humans. This book left me with a happy and optimistic view of nature.”
— Isabella Rossellini, actress and activist