Is your dog the leader of the pack?Comment on this story
London - He can detect the opening of a biscuit tin from 100 paces and performs tricks at the click of your fingers.
But it seems the true display of your dog’s intelligence comes when he interacts with his canine friends.
If he takes the lead when out on a walk he is not just the dominant one in the pack, he is also the cleverest, researchers say.
Using high-resolution GPS harnesses, scientists from Oxford University, Eotvos University in Budapest and the Hungarian Academy of Scientists tracked the movements of six dogs and their owner across 14 separate 30- to 40-minute walks off the lead.
Results showed that the older, more aggressive dogs would take the lead in the pack – and that these were also the animals more responsive to training.
Lead author Dr Mati Nagy, of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, said: “We showed that it is possible to determine the social ranking and personality traits of each dog from their GPS movement data.
“Overall, the collective motion of the pack is strongly influenced by an underlying social network.”
Dogs that led more often had higher dominance ranks in everyday situations – such as barking first when strangers enter the house and eating first at meals – the study for PLOS Computational Biology revealed.
The researchers say their method could be applied to search and rescue dogs to allow handlers to compare how different dogs work together. - Daily Mail