October 7, 2021
Lots of people live with smart dogs, but what is it like to live with a canine genius? Meet border collie Squall and his housemate Bobbie Kurivial, one of only six dog-human teams to make it to the end of the international Genius Dog Challenge.
On a quest to find "canine Einsteins or Mozarts," ethologists at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary issued the Genius Dog Challenge, winnowed the contestants down to just the few true geniuses, studied their world learning capabilities to much astonishment, and took Bobbie and Squall on the adventure of a lifetime.
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Csányi, Vilmos, If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind, translated by Richard E. Quandt, North Point Press, December 2005.
Dror, Shany, “Do Dogs Understand Us?” The Family Pupz Podcast, by Tanya & Charles Lim, Apple Podcasts, September 2021.
Dror, Shany, & Adam Miklosi, “Max & Squall,” Genius Dog Challenge, YouTube, November 18, 2020.
Dror, Shany, & Claudia Fugazza, “Finals: Nalani & Squall,” Genius Dog Challenge, YouTube, December 16, 2020.
Family Dog Project, founded by Vilmos Csányi, Ádám Miklósi, and József Topál to study the behavioral and cognitive aspects of the dog-human relationship.
Fugazza, Claudia, Dr., Do as I Do: Using Social Learning to Train Dogs, Dogwise Publishing, June 30 2014.
Fugazza, Claudia, “Word learning dogs (Canis Familiaris) provide an animal model for studying exceptional performance,” Nature, July 7, 2021.
Genius Dog Challenge, research conducted at Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Ethology and The Family Dog Project. If your dog knows the names of more than 10 objects or toys and you are interested in cooperating, you may apply to participate with your dog here.
Genius Dog Challenge social media:
And if you think your dog is a genius, reach out to Shany Dror directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Inskeep, Stephen, “Researchers study very smart dogs for their grasp of human language,” NPR Morning Edition, October 6, 2021.
Miklosi, Adam, Dr. Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition, Oxford University Press 2016.
Morell, Virginia, “Some dogs are geniuses--just like humans,” National Geographic, July 14, 2021.
Morrison, Ryan, “Is your dog gifted?” Daily Mail, October 6, 2021.
Shany Dror, Ádám Miklósi, Andrea Sommese, Andrea Temesi and Claudia Fugazza, “Acquisition and long-term memory of object names in a sample of Gifted Word-Learner dogs,” Royal Society Publishing, October 6, 2021.
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Robins, Mary, “How Much Language Do Dogs Really Understand?” American Kennel Club News, March 2021.