How can we build better dogs?

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Having evolved alongside humans for many thousands of years, dogs have interwoven themselves in most aspects of human life across the planet. Dogs can be found as companions and family pets, as working dogs searching for hidden odors or missing people, as service dogs helping disabled people live fuller lives, and even across the world as feral, stray, and village dogs. What behaviors and cognitive traits have dogs evolved to allow them to be so successful in these wildly different environments? What makes a “good” pet versus a “good” explosives detection dog? How can we improve the lives and ‘careers’ of both? These are questions that my research aims to explore across multiple types of dogs.