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'Survival of The Friendliest': Dogs Became Our Best Friends By Being Nice

Golden retriever lying on a blanket looks up at camera

Dogs are man’s best friend, but what’s really going on inside of their heads?

This hour, we talk with canine cognition researcher Brian Hare.

Hare runs Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center, and is the co-author of the new book: Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity.

Hare’s research says what makes our furry friends such great companions also gives them a unique cognitive edge: their social intelligence.

We learn more about the evolutionary history of how dogs became so attuned to our emotions and interactions. What can we learn from the success of our canine companions?


  • Brian Hare - Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and co-director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center. He is co-author, along with Vanessa Woods, of the new book Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity

Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.
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