A characteristic of gifted dogs

Researchers, whose work is published in August 2022 in the journal animal cognitionidentified a personality trait that stands out in dogs gifted with learning object names.

These gifted dogs can learn names very quickly and remember them for at least two months.

Claudia Fugazza and her colleagues from the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest (Hungary) checked whether these dogs displayed different personality traits from typical dogs.

They asked owners of 21 gifted dogs from around the world to complete a personality test for dogs. Their results were then compared to those of a matched sample of 144 typical dogs.

We limited our study to Border Collies because most of the dogs with the ability to learn words belong to this breed.“, explains the researcher. “But it is important to point out that the vast majority of Border Collies do not exhibit this talent.“, underlines Andrea Sommers, co-author. “And also that there are gifted word learners who do not belong to this raceadds Shany Dror.

Gifted dogs were judged by their owners to be more playful than typical dogs.

Working dogs are more playful than dogs of non-active breeds, the researchers’ statement states. The Border Collie is a breed that was bred for working purposes. Thus, the typical Border Collies are already very playful and the study reveals that those who are gifted are even more so.

It is important to note that this does not necessarily imply that playfulness is what brings out this talent. We don’t rule it out, but it could also be that the fact that gifted dogs are playful is the result of owners’ noted playful interactions with their dogs using named toys.»

In humans, the ability to solve problems has been linked to certain personality traits and it seems that more playful individuals may demonstrate better problem-solving ability, the researchers note. (Four types of playful people)

For more information on dog psychology, see the links below.

Psychomedia with sources: Eötvös Loránd University, Animal cognition.
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