Is YOUR dog gifted? Some pooches can learn up to 12 new toy names in one week and remember them for at least two months – with Border Collies topping the list, study finds

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  • Researchers Spent Two Years Exploring the World of Ultra Intelligent Canines
  • After an extensive global search, they found only six with memory recall skills.
  • Border Collies and German Shepherds Were Among the Most Intelligent Breeds
  • Some dogs can remember the names of 100 objects for up to two months

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According to the authors of a new study, some dogs are able to learn the names of a dozen new toys a week, and can remember them for at least two months.

This rate of discovery and memory retention is similar to that of a one-year-old, according to the team from tvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary.

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Border collies and German shepherds were found to be among the more intelligent breeds participating in the study of how human language is learned.

With the best coming forward as part of the ‘Genius Dog Challenge’ run by the researchers, the team found that not all dogs are capable of achieving this level of intelligence.

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The Hungarian team spent more than two years around the world searching for dogs that had learned the names of their toys – only six were discovered.

It’s Squall, one in six dogs discovered from a two-year search that has the ability to remember toy names for two months

This is the tap.  This rate of discovery and memory retention is similar to that of a one-year-old chid, according to the team from tvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary.

This is the tap. This rate of discovery and memory retention is similar to that of a one-year-old chid, according to the team from tvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary.

Max is a gifted dog, who participates in experiments in the Department of Ethology at the University of Etvos Lorand.

Max is a gifted dog, who participates in experiments in the Department of Ethology at the University of Etvos Lorand.

Squall remembers the names of toys and can bring them to order.  Border collies and German shepherds were found to be among the more intelligent breeds participating in the study of how human language is learned

Squall remembers the names of toys and can bring them to order. Border collies and German shepherds were found to be among the more intelligent breeds participating in the study of how human language is learned

Study author Shannie Dror of the Family Dog Project said it was already known that dogs can learn words associated with verbs, such as ‘sit’ or ‘down’, but very rarely learn the actual names of objects. And then remember them for an extended period of time.

The clever pups were: Max, from Hungary, Gaia from Brazil, Nalani from the Netherlands, Squall from Florida, Whiskey from Norway, and Rico from Spain.

They were all qualified to participate in experiments after knowing the names of more than 28 toys, some knowing more than 100.

Claudia Fugaza was the head of the research team and said: ‘These talented dogs can learn new names for toys at a remarkable speed.

Max and Hungarian owner Ildiko.  Not only did the study reveal that some gifted dogs can learn new words at an astonishing rate, but it also standardized a new way of conducting science.

Max and Hungarian owner Ildiko. Not only did the study reveal that some gifted dogs can learn new words at an astonishing rate, but it also standardized a new way of conducting science.

Nalani is seen with her toys and owner Sonja (left) and researcher Shaini (right)

Nalani is seen with her toys and owner Sonja (left) and researcher Shaini (right)

Gaia is here with owner Isabella.  They Participated in the Genius Dog Challenge to Find the World's Brightest Breeds

Gaia is here with owner Isabella. They Participated in the Genius Dog Challenge to Find the World’s Brightest Breeds

‘In our previous study, we found that they could learn a new toy name after hearing it only four times, but with such little exposure, they did not form a long-term memory of it.’

In the study, researchers wanted to push the limits of their talents, so they challenged owners to teach their dogs six and then 12 new toy names.

Researchers said they were amazed by each performance.

Ms Dror said: ‘It turns out that, for these talented dogs, this was not a challenge. He learned between 11 and 12 toys easily.’

Not only did the study reveal that some gifted dogs can learn new words at an astonishing rate, but it also standardized a new way of conducting science.

Gaia with her toys.  With the best coming forward as part of the 'Genius Dog Challenge' run by the researchers, the team found that not all dogs are capable of achieving this level of intelligence

Gaia with her toys. With the best coming forward as part of the ‘Genius Dog Challenge’ run by the researchers, the team found that not all dogs are capable of achieving this level of intelligence

Squall at home with toys.  The Hungarian team spent more than two years around the world searching for dogs that had learned the names of their toys – finding only six

Squall at home with toys. The Hungarian team spent more than two years around the world searching for dogs that had learned the names of their toys – finding only six

Max is a gifted dog, participating in an experiment in the Department of Ethology at the University of Etvos Lorand

Max is a gifted dog, who participates in experiments in the Department of Ethology at the University of Etvos Lorand.

Rico from Spain is lying on the side of the pool.  In the study, researchers wanted to push the limits of their talents, so they challenged owners to teach their dogs six and then 12 new toy names.

Rico from Spain is lying on the side of the pool. In the study, researchers wanted to push the limits of their talents, so they challenged owners to teach their dogs six and then 12 new toy names.

Due to the COVID lockdown restrictions, the team had to convert each of the owner’s homes into laboratories, asking them to install two video cameras and connect to a live stream that monitored the behavior of the dogs and the owners.

“Once we realized we could test dogs remotely, we decided to bring the experiment to people’s homes around the world by broadcasting the tests live on YouTube,” Ms Dror explained.

The YouTube series soon went viral on social media, with a video garnering a total of 40,000 views.

When the Border Collie demonstrated excellent memory skills, in packs of clever dogs, it was little surprise to the scientists.

Max is running away with one of the toys he's learned to name.  Due to the COVID lockdown restrictions, the team was asked to install two video cameras and connect to a live stream to convert each home of the owner into a lab, which monitored the behavior of the dogs and the owners.

Max is running away with one of the toys he’s learned to name. Due to the COVID lockdown restrictions, the team was asked to install two video cameras and connect to a live stream to convert each home of the owner into a lab, which monitored the behavior of the dogs and the owners.

Norwegian whiskey is here with its toys.  The YouTube series soon went viral on social media, with a video garnering a total of 40,000 views

Norwegian whiskey is here with its toys. The YouTube series soon went viral on social media, with a video garnering a total of 40,000 views

Nalani is seen with her toys and owner Sonja.  When the Border Collie demonstrated excellent memory skills, in packs of clever dogs, it was little surprise to scientists

Nalani is seen with her toys and owner Sonja. When the Border Collie demonstrated excellent memory skills, in packs of clever dogs, it was little surprise to scientists

Dogs were first domesticated between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago

Genetic analysis of the world’s oldest known dog remains has shown that dogs were domesticated in a single event by humans living in Eurasia about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Dr Krishna Veeramah, assistant professor in development at Stony Brook University, told MailOnline: ‘The process of domesticating a dog must have been a very complex process, involving many generations where the signature dog …

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