Chaser (dog)

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Species Dog
Breed Border Collie
Sex Female
Born Chaser
Nation from American
Title The Smartest Dog In The World
Owner Dr. John W. Pilley

Chaser is a Border Collie dog with the largest tested memory of any non-human animal.[1][2] She can identify 1,022 toys by their name and retrieve them by name and by category.[3] She was taught by retired Wofford College professor and psychologist Dr. John W. Pilley, with the formal research published.[2][3]

Chaser knows over a thousand names of items, more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist Dr. John W. Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.[4]

Chaser can learn new words by "inferential reasoning by exclusion", that is, inferring the name of a new object by excluding objects whose names she already knows.[3]

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  1. ^ Nicholas Wade (January 27, 2011). "Sit. Stay. Parse. Good Girl!". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Smartest Dog". Popular Science. December 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-27. Psychologist John Pilley of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., wanted to test if there was a limit to the amount of words a border collie could learn, so he taught Chaser the names of 1,022 toys, one by one, for three years. New Scientist reports that he got her to fetch the toy and then he repeated the name to reinforce her understanding. 
  3. ^ a b c John W. Pilley; Alliston K. Reid (2011). "Border collie comprehends object names as verbal referents" (PDF). Behavioural Processes. 86: 184–195. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2010.11.007. 
  4. ^ Dr. John W. Pilley & Hilary Hinzmann. Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows 1000 Words. One World Publications. ISBN 1780747020. 

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