Signs of dog intelligence: Gifted dogs like to play, study finds
Is my dog smart? Gifted dogs who can learn lots of words easily, also turn out to be more playful than other dogs, a new study finds.
“Gifted” dogs, who have a rare talent for learning lots of words for objects easily, also turn out to be more playful than other dogs, a new study finds.
Prior research in humans has shown a link between playfulness and problem-solving abilities, so animal behavior researchers from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, wondered if the same was true for rollicking pups.
What is a gifted dog? In the new study, it was Border collies who had proven in prior research that they were able to learn as many as 12 new words per week and then retain them for months.
To take a closer look at the possible association between giftedness and playfulness in dogs, Claudia Fugazza, a researcher in the university's department of ethology (the study of animal behavior), and her colleagues asked the owners of 165 Border collies to fill out dog personality questionnaires. Twenty-one of the dogs were gifted and the other 114 were just randomly selected with no testing for word learning ability.
The surveys assessed the personality of the animals in five categories: