Recently, a border collie from Norway has attracted the attention of researchers from Roland University in Hungary. This 4-year-old female border collie is named Whisky, and she lives in Norway with her two owners.
Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, has to mention the big cow measuring canine IQ when it comes to the topic of canine IQ. He proposed that canine IQ is equivalent to children between 2 and 2.5 years old. In addition, he combined with 208 dog breeders from various regions, 63 small animal veterinarians, and 14 experts who study guard dogs and guard dogs to conduct in-depth observations and research on various dog breeds, and assess the dogs’ IQ (learning ability, obedience) Sex) was ranked. In the ranking, the Border Collie is the smartest, followed by the Poodle, the German Shepherd is third, the Golden Retriever is fourth, and the Doberman is fifth.
Most of the dogs in the top 10 will understand the meaning of the new instruction 5 times and remember it easily. When the owner gives the order, the probability of observing it is higher than 95%. In addition, even if the owner is far away, they will respond within a few seconds after hearing the command. And even if the people who train them are inexperienced, they can learn very well.
Whisky has learned the names of many toys over the years. Its owner will recite the names of the toys in a fun environment, let the dog bite the toys into their mouths and play, and at the same time name the toys. In this way, Whisky learned the names of 59 different objects, including rubber and plastic toys of various shapes, plush toys and animals of various materials.
Researchers from Roland University in Hungary used Whisky as one of the research objects in two papers to study the cognitive abilities of dogs.
The first paper was published in ScientificReports in February 2020. The paper research explored the depth and limitations of spontaneous classification of domestic dogs. The second paper was published in January 2021. The paper studied the ability of dogs to quickly learn the names of objects.
The research first tested Whisky’s understanding of the correct names of all available toys in his house. Its owner gave a name (59 toys, including 4 categories), and asked Whisky to hear the names of the toys one by one. Find them out. Whisky was able to select the correct toy in 54 of 59 trials, with an accuracy rate of 91.53%. Then the researchers are familiar with Whisky’s familiar categories
Subject was tested. 25 toys belong to 4 different categories (ball, frisbee, rope, ring), and its owner will use compound name adjectives or short descriptions (for example: small frisbee, colorful rope) to describe toys in this category. Whisky was able to select the correct toy 18 times out of 25 trials, with an accuracy rate of 72%.
The researchers then tested whether Whisky could spontaneously distinguish other types of toys that were different from the ones it recognized. This test examines Whisky’s performance in two different situations. One is to test without letting it play with new toys. Whisky correctly selected 17 categories of toys in 44 trials with an accuracy rate of 38.64%; the other is when the owner accompanies Whisky to play with new toys. But the test was conducted without telling it the name of the new toy. Whiskv correctly selected 24 toys out of 44 trials, and the accuracy rate increased to 54.55%.
There is a significant difference in the accuracy of the experiment in Whisky’s two cases of playing and not being able to play. It performed better when it was possible to play objects with the owner, and the physical experience of using the new toy under game conditions significantly improved Whisky’s accuracy in the classification task research.
The innovation of this research is that the research subjects have not received formal training. Compared with laboratory animals, Whisky’s experience is more similar to human babies living in the family, naturally exposed to objects, names and types. The research results show that the ability to quickly learn object names in a social environment is not limited to humans.
In the second paper, the researchers studied 20 typical domestic dogs except Whisky, but these dogs did not show any evidence of learning object names. This indicates that only a few dogs tested exhibited this ability. Future research should investigate whether this outstanding ability displayed by dogs stems from the special talents of certain people or from the dogs’ previous experience in learning object names.
The current research results show that only a few dogs have the ability to represent object names in a way comparable to humans, which explains why the number of dogs that recognize object names reported in the literature is very limited. These special abilities may be the result of genetic and/or developmental variations in complex behaviors, and may be due to non-genetic factors in the brain wiring. This may provide an interesting scenario for studying the cognitive mechanism of non-human species learning object names. Since the number of recorded dogs that can learn the names of multiple objects is very limited, the results of the research on these few individuals are very valuable, because they can highlight the commonalities and differences with humans, thus providing a way for studying the evolution of language. A feasible method.