‘Exceptional Talent’: Study Suggests the World’s Smartest Dog Breed

A new study by the Family Dog Project of the Institute of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary) concludes that, while many dogs have difficulty learning the names of objects, the Border Collie breed can easily memorize them.

The researchers subjected 40 dogs to vigorous daily training for three months to teach them at least two toy names, which were considered the minimum number of words required to assess the animals’ ability to distinguish objects by name. The training included the daily interaction between dog and owner, where the owner repeated the names of the toys several times, as well as sessions with a dog trainer.

The work found that only 7 of the 40 dogs (17%) were able to learn the names of their toys after three months of training. “The seven dogs that have shown this extraordinary talent are Border Collies, a breed that was created to work with humans in herding work,” said Dr. Claudia Fugazza, who led the research.

For example, a Brazilian border collie named Gaia was able to recognize the names of up to 37 toys and beat his dog rivals in a virtual competition also organized by the Family Dog Project, reports Daily Mail. However, he was far from breaking the record of Chaser, another dog of the same breed who could memorize more than a thousand words before he died.

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