Why are dogs special?

In latest KEDtalk, ASU Professor Clive Wynne discusses why man's best friend really is exceptional — and it's not intelligence

We heart dogs

Like many children growing up, Clive Wynne had a cherished, but not always so well-behaved dog. In fact, Benji was sometimes downright naughty. But there was one thing that kept Wynne and his brother loyal to their pet: They loved him. And Benji loved them back. 

As an adult, Wynne was thrilled to find he could make a living perusing the scientific study of animals’ minds and completed his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He continued to research animal intelligence and behavior until a fateful rat bite spurred him on to his true calling, discovering what makes the relationship between dogs and human beings exceptional. 

Lots of people think dogs are unique in their intelligence. Clive Wynne, director of Arizona State University’s Canine Science Collaboratory, says that’s not true. But he knows what makes dogs truly special. Watch his talk below.

Wynne's talk is part of the ASU KEDtalks series. Short for Knowledge Enterprise Development talks, KEDtalks aim to spark ideas, indulge curiosity, and inspire action by highlighting ASU scientists, humanists, social scientists and artists who are driven to find solutions to the universe’s grandest challenges. Tune in monthly to research.asu.edu/kedtalks to discover how the next educational revolution will come about, why risk is not just a four-letter word when it comes to innovation, and more.