Somerville Junior Research Fellow Dr Máté Nagy has been interviewed by the BBC about his research into canine behaviour.

Dr Nagy, the Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville, had found that the behaviour of individual dogs taken on group walks reveals not just which dog is a leader but also the personality traits of the individual dogs.

The route a dog chooses on such a walk is especially important, Nagy found, adding that technology could be harnessed to read the group behaviour of a variety of species, such as lions, elephants, and even humans.

“We used Hungarian vizsla dogs, which is known to be a very social and well-trainable breed of pointer-type hunter dogs,” said Nagy. “There are clear characteristics in terms of their choice of paths and their motion patterns, and these depend on personality traits. Some of the results were familiar for the owner, but some aspects were surprising.”

Nagy added that the project employed a new research methodology and that the research team plans to extend their research to look at other groups and breeds.

“We are looking for dedicated owners to collaborate with,” he said.

Dr Nagy’s work has been picked up by bloggers and more information about his research can be found on his website.

Dr Nagy is also a Royal Society Newton International Fellow at the Oxford Navigation Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Further reading?

Dr Siddharth Arora joins the Oxford India Centre as Programme Director

Learn More
18 October 2021
Dr Siddharth Arora joins the Oxford India Centre as Programme Director

Professor Frances Stewart named Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Learn More
15 October 2021
Professor Frances Stewart named Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Remembering Somerville Co-Founder Henry Francis Pelham

Learn More
11 October 2021
Remembering Somerville Co-Founder Henry Francis Pelham