Author Website


Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Kujala (2017) provides an excellent overview of most aspects of emotion in dogs; however, she does not cover a few fields of research that I think are also relevant to the topic. In this commentary, I discuss the current state of our knowledge regarding cognitive decline and behavioral disorders in dogs as potential models for human neurodegenerative disease and mental illness; how emotion and cognition in dogs interact with sex, gonadectomy, and sexual behavior; as well as the transformative potential of functional MRI imaging of the conscious dog brain in the study of comparative neurophysiology.

Author Biography

Silvan Urfer is a veterinarian with an interest in geroscience and comparative medicine. He is a Senior Fellow at University of Washington Medicine Pathology and serves as the veterinary informatics officer for the Dog Aging Project. His research interests include using privately owned pet dogs as models for various age-related and other diseases in humans, including those that affect the brain.