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Scientists explain how some dogs can remember their favorite toys

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FILE - A dog stares down a chew toy while in her room at the San Francisco SPCA Adoption Center in San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)A recent study out of Budapest, Hungary, found that dogs interchange their senses to recognize and remember familiar objects such as a favorite toy, whether it’s through smell, sight or even associating a word with a corresponding object.

It was also hypothesized that some gifted dogs are able to visualize their favorite toys before even seeing them, giving scientists a further glimpse into the minds of man’s best friend.

Apart from being able to recognize a toy or object by smell and sight alone, some particularly gifted dogs are able to hear the word associated with their favorite toy and can start imagining it in their minds before going to retrieve it, researchers from Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) University, hypothesized.  "If we can understand which senses dogs use while searching for a toy, this may reveal how they think about it," explained Shany Dror, one of the leading researchers of this study. "When dogs use olfaction or sight while searching for a toy, this indicates that they know how that toy smells or looks like." Researchers tested three dogs that were specifically trained and "gifted word learner" dogs and tested another 10 typical family dogs, according to the study.

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