Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Top dogs

You always thought your dog understood what you were saying and now it turns out it’s true. Research from the Gifted Dog Challenge, run at the Ethology Department of the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, has discovered there is such a thing as a ‘gifted’ dog. 

These animals can learn 12 new words a week, remember them for months and can develop a vocabulary of more than a hundred words. The findings came out of a trial in which owners introduced their pets to 12 new toys each week, playing with them in their normal way, and then at the end of the week asking the dog to bring them each toy by name. The researchers put the dog’s language acquisition at roughly that of a one-year-old human.

The researchers believe their work provides another way of studying how humans learn languages better than, say, studying lab animals, since dogs are kept in the home. It may sound barking mad, but it’s paws for thought.

Image courtesy of TheOtherKev from Pixabay
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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