Hungarian dog research turns thirty

Hungarian dog research turns thirty

The research on family dogs began thirty years ago at the Department of Ethology at ELTE. The program was initiated by Professor Vilmos Csányi, and now many researchers from various scientific fields have joined these internationally recognized studies. Initially, the researchers could fit in a single room, but today more than sixty people work to learn as much as possible about dogs living in families. To mark the anniversary, the researchers have launched a podcast series (in Hungarian) to share what it was like to discover a new field of science and to recall the experiences of the past decades.

The first episode of the series will be released on the birthday of Professor Vilmos Csányi, May 9th, on the Ethologists' Podcast platforms.

In the episode, Professor Vilmos Csányi's students greet him on his birthday—albeit a few days earlier due to the recording—and they briefly reminisce about their shared memories and working methods. Looking to the future, Professor Vilmos Csányi emphasizes the importance of curiosity.

The series opens with a conversation between Sára Bőhm and two researchers: Enikő Kubinyi, leader of the MTA-ELTE Momentum Companion Animal Research Group and the Senior Family Dog Program, who joined the group as a first-year university student in 1994 when the research began, and Ádám Miklósi, head of the Department of Ethology and founder of etorobotics, who helped shape the research directions as a young researcher in the early days.


[01:40] How has the speakers' relationship with dogs changed over the past thirty years?

[05:20] Social impacts and changes. How has society's attitude toward dog ownership evolved?

[08:10] What have the research findings of the Department of Ethology contributed to society, i.e., how has knowledge impacted awareness?

[13:30] Changes in dog ownership and dog training

[16:40] The early days: How did they conduct research and connect with international researchers in a new field when the internet was still inaccessible?

[20:00] The first dog owners participating in the tests and the first results, which also revealed that many people sleep with their dogs in the same bed.

[23:30] A team of police officers was dispatched for the dog tests

[25:00] Could a goat be a good guide?

[28:00] The first successes

[31:00] Connection with psychology

[35:13] The functioning of ethology

[38:40] Ups and downs and cynicism

[39:30] Vilmos Csányi's working methods and the first crazy ideas

[44:25] The breakthrough, the first international media appearance, dogs became increasingly interesting

[48:13] The challenges of pioneering discoveries or how to start something new

[54:05] Why is teamwork important?

[1:01:10] The power of dissemination

[1:07:29] The ethology of the 21st century—where is the path leading?

[1:09:45] Greeting Vilmos Csányi, his thoughts, and advice for the next thirty years

[1:24:14] Openness, curiosity, and an international, multicultural department