[email protected]



Current research

My doctoral research looks into the evolutionary origin of language by examining language related abilities in a group of exceptionally talented dogs. These Gifted dogs can rapidly learn new object labels through social interactions. Gifted dogs are very rare, so in order to locate them, I produced the Genius Dog Challenge, which was a series of experiments live broadcasted over YouTube. The Genius Dog Challenge was not only social media campaign aimed to recruit subjects, but also a scientific study, the results of which were published in 2021 (Dror et al., 2021). 

It received massive media exposure, and was featured by leading international media channels all around the world including ABC NewsThe GuardianFox NewsThe TimesNBC NewsSky NewsNew York TimesCNN among others. I am also conducting an eye tracking study at CEU University, Vienna, that examines the link between ostensive communication and lexical retrieval in 12-month-old infants. In addition, I work in collaboration with Royal Canin® on several studies that examine the relationship between dog nutrition and cognition.

Past research and animal training

Prior to my PhD research, I trained miniature family pigs to perform a variety of (slightly bizarre) research tasks, including voluntarily participating in fully conscious, unrestrained, fMRI scans. I completed my Master’s degree at Hohenheim University, Germany, where I examined the use of honeybees as a method for deterring Asian elephants. During my bachelor’s degree I trained fruit bats to participate in navigation tasks at the Weitzman Institute of Science. I have extensive experience in training working dogs as I served in the Israeli police force dog handler unit, and qualified to represent Israel in four IPO world championships (FCI WM 2015-17 & WUSV 2016) with my personal dog Mitos (highest world ranking 51th place).

Growing up, I spent most of my time in the stables and started training my first horse at the age of 12. For me, research is a personal passion, fulfilling my childhood dream of trying to better understand animals and humans.


My second-biggest passion is sharing what I have learned as a scientist and trainer with dog trainers and animal lovers around the world. I regularly give talks and seminars in a variety of different settings. In my talks, I draw from my practical experience working with animals and combine it with the latest scientific discoveries in the field of animal cognition. Some of my invited talks include:

  • Karen Pryor Clicker Training Academy, the ranch program by Ken Ramirez.
  • Guest lecturer at Dr. Alexandra Horovitz’ Canine Cognition Course, Barnard College, New York.
  • Dog handler unit of the Israeli Prison Association.