By Dr. John W. Pilley Jr. Ph.D, Hilary Hinzmann
The superb tale of a really clever Border collie who's redefining animal intelligence.
Chaser has a manner with phrases. She understands over one thousand of them—more than the other animal of any species other than people. as well as universal nouns like condominium, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of multiple thousand toys and will retrieve any of them on command. in line with that studying, she and her proprietor and coach, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved directly to extra amazing feats, demonstrating her skill to appreciate sentences with a number of parts of grammar and to profit new behaviors by means of imitation.
John’s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as remarkable as Chaser’s accomplishments. His groundbreaking strategy has opened the door to a brand new realizing of animal intelligence, one who calls for us to reassess what truly is going on in a dog’s brain. Chaser’s achievements demonstrate her use of deductive reasoning and complicated problem-solving talents to deal with novel challenges.
Yet astonishingly, Chaser isn’t precise. John’s education tools will be followed by way of any puppy lover. in the course of the poignant tale of the way he informed Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley relatives, and proved her talents to the clinical group, he finds the optimistic impression of incorporating studying into play and extra successfully channeling a dog’s typical drives.
John’s paintings with Chaser bargains a clean standpoint on what’s attainable within the dating among a puppy and a human. His tale issues us towards a brand new manner of in relation to our canines partners that takes into consideration our evolving knowing of how animals and people examine.
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Extra info for Chaser: unlocking the genius of the dog who knows a thousand words
Any activity to do with Flipflopper was important to her. With her ears down and her eyes half closed, Chaser looked like she was in a trance state, as more than one journalist has described her in these moments. But she had her legs and feet drawn under her evenly on both sides. That was the one telltale sign that she was ready to spring into action as soon as I spoke the words that told her what I wanted her to do. “Chaser, go out,” I said, using the words that sheep farmers have traditionally used to start their dogs toward some sheep.
Aidan had been begging us to bring Chaser to visit his class. He had told his teacher, Mrs. Tapper, about our visit to New York for several national television appearances, and most of the class had watched Chaser demonstrate her unprecedented language skills on Nova scienceNow a few days before. Now here we were, about to present those skills in person. After greeting Aidan, Chaser moved on to the other children, looking up at each one expectantly and wagging her tail. As Aidan’s classmates leaned down to pet Chaser, her tail wagged harder and her tongue lolled out of her mouth in an ecstatic canine grin.
She had her head down as if she had no interest in what I was doing. Only experience told me that she was “giving an eye to the sheep and an ear to the farmer,” as Border collie trainers say. Flipflopper was one of Chaser’s flock of named toys, one of the 1,022 surrogate sheep she has acquired in her language training. Any activity to do with Flipflopper was important to her. With her ears down and her eyes half closed, Chaser looked like she was in a trance state, as more than one journalist has described her in these moments.