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According to a new study, the rare dogs that are gifted in learning object verbal labels are more playful than the average dog.

According to the researchers of the Department of Ethology at Etvs Lornd University, only a few dogs in the world can learn multiple object names. These dogs are gifted and can learn a lot in a short period of time. These dogs were called gifted word learners.

Dogs that do not show the rare capacity to quickly learn multiple object names may be different from dogs that do.

The capacity to solve problems in humans has been linked to some personality trait and it seems that more playful individuals may show a better problem solving capacity.

The owners of 21 gifted dogs were asked to fill out a dog personality questionnaire.

According to Borbala Turcsan, co-author of the study, the questionnaire reveals personality traits in dogs.

Credit: Eötvös Loránd University

A matched sample of dogs from Austria and Hungary were compared to the data obtained about the personality trait of the gifted word learners.

The study was limited to Border collies because most of the gifted word learners belong to this breed.

The vast majority of Border collies don't show this talent. The study was co-authored byAndrea Sommers. There are some gifted word learners that are not part of this breed.

The researchers found that the gifted Border collies were more playful than the typical ones from both countries. Working dogs are more playful than non-working dogs. The Border collie was selected for its ability to work. The study shows that the gifted Border collies are even more playful.

dm Miklsi, co-author and head of the Department of Ethology concludes that there is a relationship between high levels of playfulness and giftedness in dogs.

It's important to note that this doesn't mean that playfulness is what makes this talent come alive. We don't exclude it, but it could also be that the owners see the playfulness in the gifted individuals because of their frequent interactions with their dogs.

Dogs with this ability are important for research. We can better understand dogs and ourselves by studying them. The researchers encourage dog owners to use the form on the Genius Dog Challenge website to contact them if they think their dog knows several toy names.

More information: C. Fugazza et al, A comparison of personality traits of gifted word learner and typical border collies, Animal Cognition (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s10071-022-01657-x

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Journal information: Animal Cognition