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'Genius canine' study explores dogs' learning ability
Max from Hungary (pictured) will demonstrate his learning ability in a live broadcast.

Six border collies to take part in live experiments

Scientists from the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) University, Budapest are conducting an international research project which aims to find 'the world's smartest dog'.

The Genius Dog Challenge will see six dogs from around the world demonstrate their ability to learn the names of various toys.

The research team will be sharing the dogs' efforts with the rest of the world as part of several live broadcasts taking place from 11 November to 16 December.

The challenge will be split into two stages. For the first stage the dogs have a week to learn the names of six new toys and at the second stage the dogs will be given the same amount of time to learn the names of 12 toys.

At the end of each stage, the dogs will be tested live on the Genius Dog Challenge's Facebook and YouTube. The team aims to publish the data gathered during these live streams as a scientific article.

The project is led by Shany Dror, a PhD Student from the Department of Ethology, ELTE University. She said: “Well-trained dogs can easily learn the names of many commands such as sit or down but learning the names of objects appears to rely on different learning mechanisms.

“There is only a handful of studies conducted on dogs with a large vocabulary of object labels, such as toy names, and these studies are normally conducted on only one or two subjects.

“Our hope is that with this project we will be able to detect new genius dogs that are willing to participate in our research. We encourage owners of such dogs to contact us.”

Owners whose dogs know the names of ten or more objects or toys are invited to apply through the Genius Dog Challenge website.

Image (c) Genius Dog Challenge.

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Boehringer Ingelheim to host online Christmas comedy special

News Story 1
 Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Animal Health is set to host a live Christmas comedy event to provide entertainment and festive fun for veterinary professionals.

BI Animal Health's Christmas Comedy Cracker is a free online event, designed to help veterinary professionals sit back and relax at the end of what has been a difficult year for the whole profession.

The event will take place online at 8pm on Thursday 17 December. Comedian Rhys James will host and the line-up also includes ventriloquist Nina Conti, comedian Zoe Lyons and musical comedy troupe The Noise Next Door.

To register your place for free please visit www.christmascomedycracker.co.uk 

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News Shorts
VMD and VPS announce joint open information day

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) have announced a joint open information day covering topics such as veterinary medicines regulations, antimicrobial resistance, scientific advice and novel therapies.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 November, the virtual event will take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars and a 'Slido' Q&A session. Links to the webinars and full instructions on how to use Slido will be available on gov.uk on 18 November. To join the mailing list for the event, email director.support@vmd.gov.uk