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50 Dog Breeds That Didn’t Exist 50 Years Ago

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One of the world’s newest dog breeds was unveiled this year in January by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest dog registry, marking the club’s 197th breed.

Here we look at dog breeds that were officially recognized by the AKC in the last 50 years.

Biewer terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2021

The biewer terrier was recognized by the AKC back in January. While it falls in the toy dog category, this small breed has a “larger than life personality,” describes the AKC.

“In spite of their small stature, Biewer are hearty and athletic, able to keep up with the best of them on long walks, hikes or competing in the agility ring,” it adds.

Barbet

Year recognized by AKC: 2020

Defined by its signature dense curly coat, this rustic French water dog gets its name from its distinctive beard (“barbe” translates to beard in French). The cheerful, loyal and athletic breed was “used primarily to locate, flush, and retrieve birds,” according to the AKC.

Dogo Argentino

Year recognized by AKC: 2020

Dogo Argentino was accepted by the Belgium-based Fédération Cynologique Internationale as the first and only Argentinean breed back in 1973. This pack-hunting dog was bred “to find, chase and catch dangerous game.” It has “the strength, intelligence and quick responsiveness of a serious athlete,” AKC says.

A Dogo Argentino at the CACIB dog exhibition Westfalenhallen Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany on October 16, 2011.
Agency-Animal-Picture/ Getty Images

Belgian laekenois

Year recognized by AKC: 2020

This strong and agile breed is one of four native dogs of Belgium. They are known for being protective of their masters and property as well as affectionate and friendly with those they know well, according to the AKC.

Azawakh

Year recognized by AKC: 2019

This West African breed hailing from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is a member of the sighthound family, who are “canine sprinters that rely on keen vision and blazing speed to fix and course their prey,” the AKC describes.

“Befitting its heritage, the Azawakh excels as a companion, guardian and a lure courser in the United States,” it adds.

Azawakh dog in London 2004An Azawakh seen at Green Park in London, U.K. where Crufts presented the national launch for the Kennel Club’s Greatest Dog Show in the World in February 2004.
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Grand basset griffon vendeen

Year recognized by AKC: 2018

This happy and outgoing French scenthound is “deceptively quick and light-footed,” says the AKC. “The stamina and courage of these longer-than-tall hunters is the stuff of Gallic legends.”

grand basset griffon vendeen dog show 2019A grand basset griffon vendeen seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2019 in New York City.
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Nederlandse kooikerhondje

Year recognized by AKC: 2018

This lively and sporty Dutch breed is believed to be an ancestor of the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever. “The breed has the sturdy bone structure expected of a serious hunter” as well as “springy gait,” according to the AKC.

American hairless terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2016

Hailing from Louisiana, this is the first hairless dog breed to have originated in the U.S. The American hairless terrier is a “smart, inquisitive and playful” breed. Protective of their owners, they are known to be great watch dogs, the AKC says.

American hairless terrier NYC 2017An American hairless terrier seen at a press conference on January 30, 2017 in New York to announce three new breeds that will be eligible to compete in the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Tmothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Sloughi

Year recognized by AKC: 2016

Nicknamed the “Arabian Greyhound,” this classic sighthound was bred to hunt game such as hare, fox, jackal, gazelle and wild pigs in North African deserts. They are “regally aloof with strangers and gentle with loved ones,” according to the AKC.

sloughi dog NYC 2017A sloughi seen at a Westminster Kennel Club event on January 30, 2017 in New York City.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Pumi

Year recognized by AKC: 2016

This Hungarian herding breed is characterized by its “corkscrew-curled coat, two-thirds erect ears and distinctive whimsical expression.” It is famed for its intelligence, agility and boldness, the AKC says.

pumi dog NYC 2017A pumi seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 30, 2017 in New York.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Miniature American shepherd

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

These bright and energetic dogs have an affinity for horses. They became especially popular among equestrians traveling to horse shows as “their intelligence, loyalty and size made them an excellent travel companion,” according to the AKC.

A miniature American shepherd in NYCA miniature American shepherd breed seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Spanish water dog

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

Having a striking coat of wooly curls, Spanish water dogs were used as both herders and waterfowl retrievers in their homeland of Spain. “This rustic charmer is a lively family companion and vigilant watchdog,” according to the AKC.

Spanish water dog NYC 2016A Spanish water dog seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Berger picard

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

This French breed is an ideal companion for athletic owners for their agility and boundless energy, which make them eager to participate in various sports, games and outdoor pursuits.

berger picard new york city 2016A berger picard at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP via Getty Images

Lagotto romagnolo

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

This is Italian breed is the only purebred dog in the world recognized as “a specialized truffle searcher,” according to the AKC. “Despite their plush-toy looks, Lagotti are durable workers of excellent nose who root out truffles, a dainty and pricey delicacy,” it says.

Lagotto Romagnolo NYC dog show 2016A lagotto romagnolo seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York City.
John Lamparski/WireImage

Bergamasco sheepdog

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

The origins of the Bergamasco sheepdog can be traced back to what is now Iran. These intelligent and highly social dogs develop independent relationships with each person in the household, the AKC says.

bergamasco sheepdog 2016 A bergamasco sheepdog seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP via Getty Images

Cirneco dell’Etna

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

This sleek ancient coursing hound from Sicily is given to quick bursts of speed. “These lithe and leggy Sicilians are typical sighthounds: sweet-natured, independent and, of course, breathtakingly swift,” describes the AKC.

Cirneco dell'Etna NYC A Cirneco dell’Etna seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Boerboel

Year recognized by AKC: 2015

These confident South African dogs are described to be “intimidating but discerning guardians of home and family,” having learned to protect remote South African homesteads from fierce predators, according to the AKC.

boerboel dog in NYCA boerboel pictured at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on January 21, 2016 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Wirehaired vizsla

Year recognized by AKC: 2014

Wirehaired vizslas are close relatives of vizslas but are a distinctly separate breed for its dense wiry coat. This upbeat “exuberant hunter” is calm and gentle around the house, the AKC says.

A wirehaired vizsla dog in NYC A wirehaired vizsla competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 16, 2016.
Matthew Eisman/Contributor via Getty Images

Coton de tulear

Year recognized by AKC: 2014

This “happy-go-lucky companion dog” is the official dog of Madagascar. “The Coton is small but robustly sturdy,” notes the AKC.

coton de tulear dog U.K. A coton de tulear seen at the Crufts Dog Show on March 10, 2017 in Birmingham, England in the U.K.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Portuguese podengo pequeno

Year recognized by AKC: 2013

Portuguese podengo pequeno is a “quick, athletic rabbit hunter dog,” with a distinctive wedge-shaped head and erect, pointed ears. They love to “run, romp, and chase when outdoors but make charming and well-mannered housemates,” the AKC says.

Portuguese podengo pequeno NYC 2014A Portuguese podengo pequeno seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on February 6, 2014 in New York City.
Ben Hider/WireImage via Getty Images

Rat terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2013

The name of this original American breed is believed to have been coined by former president Teddy Roosevelt, according to the AKC. These compact but tough dogs make “happy-go-lucky, playful and portable companions,” it adds.

 rat terrier NYC dog show 2016A rat terrier competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City.
Matthew Eisman/WireImage via Getty Images

Chinook

Year recognized by AKC: 2013

This native breed of New Hampshire was once on the verge of extinction and is among the scarcest AKC breeds. “Chinooks are calm, people-oriented dogs with a special feel for children,” noted for their intelligence, patience and eagerness to please, the AKC says.

Chinook dogs NYC dog show event 2014A pair of chinook dogs watching their owners at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event on February 6, 2014 in New York City.
John Moore/Getty Images

Treeing walker coonhound

Year recognized by AKC: 2012

The AKC explains: “The Treeing Walker Coonhound was developed from the Walker Foxhound, which evolved from the Virginia Hounds that descended from the earliest English Foxhounds that were brought to America.”

Nicknamed “The People’s Choice,” treeing walker coonhounds are an American favorite.

treeing walker coonhound NYC 2013A treeing walker coonhound pictured at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show event in New York on January 28, 2013.
Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Russell terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2012

The origins of this upbeat, lively and inquisitive breed can be traced back to fox hunting in England. Russell terriers look “like a plush toy come to life,” marked by their dark, almond-shaped eyes, which bring out a “keenly intelligent expression,” the AKC says.

Xoloitzcuintli

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

The origins of this Mexican breed can be traced back over 3,000 years, making them the first dogs of the Americas. The vigilant watch dog has a graceful, elegant body that is surprisingly strong and rugged, according to the AKC.

 xoloitzcuintli dog Mexican breed A xoloitzcuintli seen at the National Pet Show on November 4, 2017 in Birmingham, England in the U.K.
Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage via Getty Images

Entlebucher mountain dog

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

Nicknamed the “Laughing Dog” of the Swiss Alps, this spirited, energetic breed is known for its boundless enthusiasm and is happiest having a job to perform, says the AKC.

Cesky terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

The Cesky terrier is the national dog of the Czech Republic. These clever and adventurous dogs make good playmates for kids and walking companions for adults. They are considered “a little more laid back and tractable than the usual terrier,” according to the AKC.

cesky terrier nyc A cesky terrier competes competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City.
Matthew Eisman/WireImage via Getty Images

American English coonhound

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

American by birth and English by ancestry, these lean, muscular dogs are “deep-chested, sweet-faced athletes beloved by sportsmen for their speed and endurance,” describes the AKC.

 American English coonhound in NYCAn American English coonhound seen at a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show preview event on January 26, 2012 in New York City.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Finnish lapphund

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

These tough reindeer herding dogs from north of the Arctic Circle are a “remarkably empathetic breed.” Among the breed’s distinctive traits is “a strong ‘startle reflex,’ the result of centuries spent ducking the antlers of ornery reindeer,” the AKC says.

Finnish lapphund in the U.K.A Finnish lapphund performing at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England in the U.K. on March 10, 2013.
Carl Court/AFP via Getty Images

Norwegian lundehund

Year recognized by AKC: 2011

Originating from Norway’s rocky island of Vaeroy, the Norwegian lundehund was the only dog breed created for puffin hunting. “With puffins now a protected species, today’s Lundehund is a friendly, athletic companion,” says the AKC.

Norwegian lundehund at AKC event NYC A Norwegian lundehund at an American Kennel Club event on January 26, 2011 in New York City.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for American Kennel Club

Icelandic sheepdog

Year recognized by AKC: 2010

Iceland’s only native dog breed is “charmingly friendly” and “enthusiastically devoted” to their owners, the AKC describes.

Icelandic sheepdogs NYC A pair of Icelandic sheepdogs seen at an American Kennel Club event on February 13, 2016 in New York City.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for American Kennel Club

Cane corso

Year recognized by AKC: 2010

The lineage of this assertive breed goes back to ancient Roman times. With its name roughly translating from Latin as “bodyguard dog,” its imposing appearance is the breed’s first line of defense against intruders. These intelligent and intensely loyal dogs “can end up owning an unwitting owner,” according to the AKC.

cane corso dog NYC 2014A cane corso pictured at the Westminster Dog Show on February 11, 2014 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Irish red and white setter

Year recognized by AKC: 2009

This fun-loving, friendly and athletic breed was bred primarily for hunting. They are a bit shorter and stockier than their cousin the Irish setter, says the AKC.

Irish red and white setter dog U.K.An Irish red and white setter pictured at the Crufts dog show on March 12, 2005 in Birmingham, England in the U.K.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Redbone coonhound

Year recognized by AKC: 2009

Another original American breed, a redbone coonhound is even-tempered and mellow at home. But the breed can be “a tiger on the trail,” enjoying activities like hunting and swimming between long periods of rest. Their dreamy brown eyes give their face a “pleading” expression, says the AKC.

redbone coonhound NYC dog show 2011A redbone coonhound seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2011 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Norwegian buhund

Year recognized by AKC: 2009

This Nordic cold-weather breed known for herding and guarding is closely associated with the Vikings. As family dogs, they are “smart, affectionate and steadfastly devoted,” according to the AKC.

Pyrenean shepherd

Year recognized by AKC: 2009

This “enthusiastic, mischievous, and whip-smart” breed descended from the ancient sheepdogs of the Pyrenees mountains, which form the natural border between France and Spain. “These tough, lean, and lively herders, famous for their vigorous and free-flowing movement,” says the AKC.

Boykin spaniel

Year recognized by AKC: 2009

The Boykin spaniel is the official dog of South Carolina. The mid-sized spaniel breed is “larger and rangier than Cockers but more compact than Springers,” describes the AKC.

Swedish vallhund

Year recognized by AKC: 2007

These rugged cattle dogs originating from western Sweden are known for their “zest for life, unique vocalizations and cheerful demeanor,” says the AKC.

Swedish vallhund NYC dog show 2008A Swedish vallhund seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2008.
Shawn Ehlers/WireImage via Getty Images

Beauceron

Year recognized by AKC: 2007

Once well-trained, these imposing and powerful French shepherd dogs make great watch dogs and guardians. They are “especially good with the young, the small, and the defenseless,” according to the AKC.

 beauceron dog NYC A beauceron seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2008.
Shawn Ehlers/WireImage via Getty Images

Tibetan mastiff

Year recognized by AKC: 2006

Described as “the guardian dog supreme,” this imposing breed can stand 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh well over 100 pounds. Yet they are unexpectedly quite light-footed and “will meet a perceived threat with surprising agility,” says the AKC.

Tibetan mastiff in China 2005A Tibetan mastiff seen at an exposition in Longfang, China on February 27, 2005.
Guang Niu/Getty Images

Plott hound

Year recognized by AKC: 2006

This scenthound is North Carolina’s state dog and descended from German “Hanover hounds.” This rugged hunting dog is mellow at home but “fearless, implacable, and bold at work,” describes the AKC.

Neapolitan mastiff

Year recognized by AKC: 2004

This massive dog has a striking face with profuse hanging wrinkles and folds that make it “look like a marzipan Mastiff that’s been out in the sun too long,” says the AKC. “The Neapolitan Mastiff is a huge, powerful guarder whose astounding appearance has intimidated intruders since the days of ancient Rome.”

Neapolitan mastiff dog show NYC A Neapolitan mastiff competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 17, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Black Russian terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2004

This Russian breed is known for its courage, confidence and intelligence. Bred to guard and protect, their all-black coat allows them to “patrol some of the coldest habitable places on earth,” notes the AKC.

black Russian terrier NYC A black Russian terrier competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City.
Matthew Eisman/WireImage via Getty Images

Glen of Imaal terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2004

This Irish breed is described to be “gentler, less excitable than most terriers” but still bold and spirited, according to the AKC. It is named after one of Ireland’s most remote locales in County Wicklow.

glen of Imaal terrier dog NYC A glen of Imaal terrier seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City.
Matthew Eisman/WireImage via Getty Images

Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever

Year recognized by AKC: 2003

Standing around 18 or 19 inches at the shoulder, the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever is the smallest AKC retriever. These athletic dogs require outlets for their boundless energy, such as swimming, “for which they are ideally suited, down to their webbed feet,” says the AKC.

Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever Germany A Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever running after a dog toy in a garden in Munich, Germany in March 2012.
Agency-Animal-Picture/Getty Images

Toy fox terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 2003

Standing under a foot tall, this compact breed is “truly a toy and a terrier.” These former barnyard ratters are “beguiling companions with a big personality” and “dark eyes that sparkle with eager intelligence,” the AKC describes.

 toy fox terrier dog NYCA toy fox terrier posing as Dr. Seuss character at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on October 20, 2012 in New York City.
John Moore/Getty Images

Polish lowland sheepdog

Year recognized by AKC: 2001

This shaggy herding dog is a clever and confident Polish breed, thriving on exercise and hard work. “Compact, alert, and adaptable, they are beloved companions and watchdogs of Polish city dwellers,” according to the AKC.

Polish lowland sheepdog NYCA Polish lowland sheepdog pictured resting during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, February 15, 2010.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Spinone Italiano

Year recognized by AKC: 2000

This hunting breed of ancient Italian lineage is known for its versatility as well as “superior mouth and ultrasoft nose.” They are “sociable, docile, and patient, sometimes stubborn but always endearing,” says the AKC.

Spinone Italiano dogs U.K.A group of Spinone Italiano dogs pictured at the Cruft’s dog show in Birmingham, England in the U.K. on March 6, 2020.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Parson Russell terrier

Year recognized by AKC: 1997

The Parson Russell terrier has the looks of a “plush toy come to life.” But they are “tough little guys built for England’s traditional sport of foxhunting. They’re fast enough to follow the hounds and fearless enough to dig into the ground and flush a fox from his lair,” according to the AKC.

 Parson Russell terrier U.K. A Parson Russell terrier seen at the Crufts dog show on March 10, 2007 in Birmingham, England in the U.K.
Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Canaan

Year recognized by AKC: 1997

Canaan is the national dog of Israel and one of the AKC’s oldest breeds. These clever, confident and territorial dogs “will end up owning’ passive owners who haven’t established themselves as top dog in the family pack,” says the AKC.

Dog Breeds

Even Puppies Get the Point

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Dogs’ ability to understand us and respond to our attempts to communicate with them has long been considered a fundamental part of the close relationship we share. More than two decades ago, researchers first provided evidence that dogs can follow human pointing gestures.

Many studies have since shown that when humans point at one of two identical objects to indicate the location of the food, dogs respond by choosing the one pointed more often than we would happen to expect. This may sound like an easy skill, but maybe that’s because it’s so easy for us. The idea that another species can respond to our hint is a big deal.

As with any significant discovery, this topic has been discussed at length. Behavioral questions mainly revolve around whether dogs are learning what this gesture means from spending so much time with us, or whether they can naturally understand that pointing is a way to get their attention to something interesting.

It is difficult to study for practical and ethical reasons. Most adult dogs have a lot of experience with humans. Raising dogs without such contact for the purposes of scientific study would be cruel and totally unacceptable. It would also be pointless because such dogs would be so poorly socialized and so fearful that they would not be able to participate in studies. However, puppies are a different matter.

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In a recent study, researchers used the fact that young puppies have limited experience with humans to examine their ability to respond to human pointing gestures. The 375 participating puppies were between 7.3 and 10.4 weeks old (mean age 8.4 weeks). The puppies were loaned out by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit group that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. The 203 females and 172 males came from 117 litters. In terms of breed, there were 98 Labrador Retrievers, 23 Golden Retrievers, and 254 Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever crosses.


The experimenter hid food in one of two places and either (A) pointed and looked at the bait container, or (B) placed any marker next to the bait container. (C) Puppies exceeded chance expectation with both social cues, but not in an olfactory control state. Source: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.17.434752

In the study, the pups had a choice of two containers, one of which held a piece of snack food. While one person was holding the pup, another caught the pup’s attention and either pointed and looked at the food reward container, or showed the pup a marker (a small yellow block) and then placed the marker next to the correct container. Based on the dot gesture, the pups chose correctly more than two-thirds of the time. They correctly picked almost three-quarters of the time the person communicated the location of the food by placing the marker.

In control trials, where puppies were not directed and were likely to choose based on the smell of the food, their decisions had a success rate of 48.9 percent – essentially random and slightly worse than you’d expect based on chance alone. These experiments showed that puppies could not find the food by sniffing it out.

Multiple replications did not appear to improve the puppies’ performance. This suggests that they don’t learn the task while studying. (They had either already learned the task even though they were so young, or they could do it without having to study.) Previous studies in adult dogs – both lap dogs and assistance dogs – found similar success rates for the pointing task, and were even higher Success in the marker task.

Another aspect of this study examined the genetic basis for the variation in dogs’ ability to find food based on human information about their location. They found that 43 percent of the variation was due to heredity, confirming a long-standing belief that genetics play a role in dogs’ social and cognitive abilities. This is an important finding. In order for selection to affect a dog’s ability to respond to human communication, as there are many theories about the domestication of dogs, there must be a genetic basis.

It is important to understand that even a natural ability can be adaptive. Hence, it is not that dogs either have an innate ability or need to learn that ability. The idea that behavior is binary is extremely out of date. In fact, an influential 1967 study in my field of ethology had the brand name “Ontogenesis of an Instinct”. To understand why it was so dangerous, it is important to know that ontogeny means evolution.

The study looked at changes in a pattern of behavior that was believed to be instinctive: a gull chick pecks at one point on the beak of an adult gull to trigger feeding. Such species-specific behavior patterns were viewed as innate rather than learned. In a series of studies, Jack P. Hailman, PhD showed that learning took place and that gull chicks improved their chopping accuracy with practice.

The idea that instinctive behavior can be improved and that learning occurs in relation to such behaviors was revolutionary and has changed the field significantly. But here, more than 50 years later, we are still debating whether behavior is instinctive or learned. It is more complex than that, and we have to accept that learning can play a role even in natural and species-prevalent behavior.

One possibility that must always be considered is that dogs have a tendency to learn the ability to follow human gestures. That is, it can be easy and natural for them to learn. In fact, it can be so simple and natural that it can be difficult to find dogs who have not yet learned how to do it. The current study provides evidence that even young puppies who have not had extensive experience with humans can perform this task and – equally interesting and important – that there is a genetic basis for this behavior. However, dogs have not been shown to have this ability in the absence of experience with humans.

The researchers say it fairly in their work: “Taken together, our results show that the social skills of dogs are very important in early development and that the variation in these traits is strongly influenced by genetic factors.”

Source * thebark.com – * https://thebark.com/content/even-puppies-get-point

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Dog Breeds

How to Tell if Your Dog is a Genius

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Anyone who has lived with a dog knows their ability to learn the meanings of words, even those you wouldn’t want them to know. How many times did you have to spell the words “going” or “dinner” to avoid an explosion of excitement?

Previous studies have looked at how non-human animals, including chimpanzees, sea lions, and rhesus monkeys, learn words. But now, a paper published in Nature shows that some dogs learn the name of a new object after hearing it just four times, a skill previously believed to be limited to humans.

The researchers found that this skill was not common in all dogs studied, but may be limited to a few “talented” or well-trained individuals. So how do you know if your own dog is a genius or not?

The study was simple and easy to repeat at home. Just follow the researchers’ steps to see if your dog can learn the names of objects that quickly. But don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have this ability. This can only be due to his race or previous experience.

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Whiskey and Vicky Nina

The new study included a collie named Whiskey who knew 59 objects by name and a Yorkshire terrier named Vicky Nina who knew 42 toys.

The researchers tested each dog’s knowledge of their toy by asking them to bring each toy in turn. Neither the owners nor the experimenters could see the toys so as not to influence the choice of dogs.

Once it was determined that the dogs knew the names of all of their toys, the researchers introduced two new objects, each placed one at a time in a group of familiar toys. In this test, Whiskey chose the new toy every time. Vicky Nina got the right one in 52.5% of the attempts, which is a bit more than chance.

Learn new names

For the next part of the study, the dog was shown a toy, given its name, and then allowed to play with it. After repeating the name of two different new toys four times, the dog was asked to choose one of the two new toys.

No known toys were included in this part of the experiment in order to prevent the dog from choosing the right toy through exclusion. Knowing the name of all the other toys, the dog may choose the right toy, guessing that the unfamiliar word must indicate the unfamiliar toy.

Both dogs opted for the new toy more often than chance would predict, suggesting that they actually learned the name of a new object very quickly. However, her memory deteriorated significantly after 10 minutes and almost completely after an hour. This shows that the new learning needs more reinforcement if it is to be maintained.

Read More: Six Tips For Grooming Your New Puppy According To Science

The test with the new toy was also done by 20 volunteers with their own dogs, but these dogs did not show the ability to learn new names after a few hearings.

The authors suggested that the difference between the performance of the two dogs in their test and the volunteer dogs means that the dog may need to be unusually intelligent or have a lot of name learning experience in order to learn new names quickly.

A dog surrounded by toys.

Clever dogs

It is likely that a combination of factors are at work in these experiments. It is significant that the most common breed used in studies of this species is a border collie, specifically bred to perform audible commands and very highly motivated to perform tasks and please the handler. Yorkshire terriers also enjoy mental and physical stimulation.

Similar tests have been carried out by other research groups, usually using border collies. In 2004, a dog named Rico was found to know the names of 200 different objects, and in 2011 Chaser learned 1,022 unique objects.

Other breeds may be less interested in playing with or fetching toys. For example, greyhounds such as salukis and greyhounds are primarily bred for hunting or racing and are therefore generally more difficult to train. They may not show any interest in toys at all and be far less motivated to please the handler.

Smart dogs can learn new names quickly.

Both test dogs in this study received extensive training through play and social interaction to pay attention to the names and characteristics of the toys. This could make them more likely to notice the differences between new and familiar toys and to care about the verbal cues associated with them.

While their training was not formal, it was nonetheless positive reinforcement training, a powerful method of teaching animals and people. The dogs have undoubtedly learned their skills to a great extent.

It is entirely possible to train all dogs to perform tasks, including learning the names of objects. However, the degree to which they are willing and able to learn and perform the task depends heavily on the breed of dog and the motivation of the individual dog.

If your pet is an Afghan or Saint Bernard, don’t expect them to be interested in spending hours getting toys for you. On the other hand, if you have a border collie or poodle, their abilities can only be limited by your imagination and commitment to playing with them.The conversation

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Dog Breeds

10 Most Challenging Dog Breeds That Are Full Of Love

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All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has its strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others.
These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award!

00:00​ – Intro
00:30​ – Afghan Hound
01:19​ – Chow Chow
02:04​ – Basenji
02:45​ – Bulldog
03:24​ – Bloodhound
04:08​ – Pekingese
04:45​ – Dachshund
05:22​ – Welsh Terrier
06:03​ – Beagle
06:37​ – Borzoi
07:10​ – Outro

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