Our story

The Family Dog Project was founded in 1994 by Vilmos Csányi, Ádám Miklósi and József Topál to study the behavioral and cognitive aspects of the dog-human relationship. It is currently the largest dog research group in the world, has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with several papers in the highest ranking scientific journals such as Science, Current Biology and Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

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The group values science communication. Beside publishing we also wish to present these science-related topics in a comprehensible form to non-experts and dog lovers. We host  free online seminars where Family Dog Project’s researchers report the results of the current year’s publications relating to dog behaviour & cognition and we also create video abstracts about our findings (e.g. Andics et al. 2016, Fugazza et al. 2016Polgár et al. 2016).

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We hypothesised that dogs have evolved to survive in the anthropogenic environment, and our investigations aim at revealing the contribution of humans and dogs to this long-standing partnership. Thus we are not solely interested in the mental abilities of dogs but in all aspects of human and dog behaviour that have strengthened this bond, and may even expand it further. Surprisingly, in our experience this research does not only reveal important insights on dogs but also on us, people.20161119_123745_003

Currently, members of the Family Dog Project belong to three institutions: Eötvös Loránd University: Department of Ethology and the Senior Family Dog ProjectMTA TTK Comparative Behavioural Research GroupMTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group. The head of the group is Prof. Ádám Miklósi. His latest book,  “Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition” is published by Oxford University Press.

As of 2016, the Department of Ethology has more than 90 graduated students & 20 PhD graduates (link to Alumni). We welcome applications from students for both short & longer projects.

You can read the latest news from the group here

We regularly host guest lectures in frame of the Fruits of Ethology series (attendance is free of charge)