The Gifted Dog Research Group
Most dogs can learn names of actions, such as “sit” or “down”. However, our research found that only a small group of uniquely gifted dogs are able to learn object labels, such as “frisbee” or “rope”. These uniquely Gifted Word Learner (GWL) dogs easily reach a vocabulary of hundreds of object names. Our previous studies have shown that they learn the names of new dog toys extremely rapidly, without formal training, through playful interactions with their owners. They also remember the toy names for long periods of time and spontaneously categorize them.
Our research focuses on three areas; understanding what makes these dogs different from other dogs, how they learn object names and how this compares with human infants, and how does learning words affect their mental representation of their environment.
- C Fugazza, B Turcsan, A Sommese, S Dror, A Temesi, A Miklósi, 2022. A comparison of personality traits of gifted word learner and typical border collies. Animal Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-022-01657-x. <click here to see the video abstract>
- S Dror and A Sommese, A Miklósi, A Temesi, C Fugazza, 2022. Multisensory mental representation of objects in typical and Gifted Word Learner dogs. Animal Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-022-01639-z. <click here to see the video abstract>
- A Sommese, A Pogány, A Miklósi, A Temesi, S Dror, C Fugazza, 2021. Head-tilting in dogs and its potential relationship to attention. Animal Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-021-01571-8. <click here to see the video abstract>
- S Dror, A Miklósi, A Sommese, A Temesi, C Fugazza, 2021. Examining learning rate and long-term memory of object names in a sample of selected dogs. Royal Society Open Science. 8: 210976. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.210976. <click here to see the video abstract>
- C Fugazza, S Dror, A Sommese, A Temesi, A Miklósi, 2021. Word learning dogs provide an animal model for studying exceptional performance. Scientific Reports. 11:14070. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93581-2. <click here to see the video abstract>
- C Fugazza, A Andics, L Magyari, S Dror, A Zempléni, A Miklósi, 2021. Rapid learning of object names in dogs. Scientific Reports. 11:14070. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81699-2. <click here to see the video abstract>
- C Fugazza, A Miklósi, 2021. Depths and limits of spontaneous categorization in a family dog. Scientific Reports. 10:3082. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59965-6
Our group is led by Prof. Adam Miklosi and Dr. Claudia Fugazza, and includes Dr. Andrea Sommese (postdoctoral researcher), Shany Dror (PhD candidate), Silvia Nostri (visiting MSc student) and Dr. Elodie Jacquse (visiting MSc student).
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