If you’re looking for a competition where you don’t have to worry about whether the losers will concede, you might try the Genius Dog Contest.
Starting on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern time and continuing until Monday, Nov. 16, the contest, which is also a scientific experiment, will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. It will test six of the world’s smartest dogs, found by word of mouth and social media, on their ability to learn the names of new objects.
Some dogs, like the Border collie, became famous for scientific studies that show their ability to remember words. One member of that breed, Chaser, who recently died, had learned more than 1,000 nouns.
The moving force behind the challenge is Claudia Fugazza, a canine behavior researcher who is part of the Family Dog Project at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. And the sponsor is, of course, Purina.
Dr. Fugazza admits that the title of the contest and the promotion of the event as a way to find “the world’s smartest dog” are for fun. Learning the names of many, many objects is one intriguing and puzzling talent. Scientists don’t know how it is related to the