Chaser, One Smart Dog

Chaser (Cass Sapir/Nova Science Now)


Last summer I tested Pablo’s IQ, and while he did more than okay on some tasks (those having to do with food), in others he was sorely lacking. Well perhaps there’s hope for him yet! An article in today’s New York Times features a border collie named Chaser, and she knows more than 1,000 words. Not only that, she’s a wiz with grammar too, able to distinguish between nouns and verbs. Pretty impressive!

John W. Pilley, the scientist who taught the pooch her vocabulary, got Chaser as a pup in 2004. He worked with her four to five hours every day, teaching her a word or two a day. Chaser loved the challenge and still does, badgering him if they slack off. According to Pilley, “I’m 82, and I have to go to bed to get away from her.”

Chaser knows way more words than Rico, a border collie living in Germany, that was recently featured on the NOVA’s Dogs Decoded. A new NOVA episode, How Smart Are Dogs?, will air on February 9th, and this one will highlight Chaser. Can’t wait to see it. And, maybe, just maybe, Pablo will learn something to make his IQ go up a point or two.


1 Comment

Filed under Canine intelligence, Dog breeds

One response to “Chaser, One Smart Dog

  1. Pingback: Animal Smarts | Confessions of a Pugophile

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