Chaser (dog)

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Species Dog
Breed Border Collie
Sex Female
Born Chaser
May, 2004
Nation from American
Title The Smartest Dog In The World
Owner Dr. John W. Pilley

Chaser is a Border Collie 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's owner (Dr. John W. Pilley) died on Sunday, June 17, 2018. In April, he had been diagnosed with leukemia. Pilley would have turned ninety on July 1, 2018.[4]

In addition to being able to recognize the names of more than one thousand toys, she recognizes common nouns such as house, tree and ball. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer Dr. John W. Pilley continued her training, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.[5]

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. ^ 'Smartest dog in the world' trainer, professor Dr. John Pilley passes away. WSPA Channel 7, Spartanburg Posted: Jun 19, 2018 02:38 PM EDT
  5. ^ 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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