Thursday, December 23, 2010

World's Smartest Dog Has Vocabulary Of Over 1,000 Different Words

A border collie named Chaser has learned the names of 1,022 individual items -- more than any other animal.

Psychologists Alliston Reid and John Pilley of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., taught Chaser the names of hundreds of toys, one by one, slowly and patiently, for three years as part of a research experiment in animal psychology.

"We can't say anything definitive about this, but there is agreement among breeders," he said, citing decades of breeding for herding that makes the dogs particularly attuned to learning words. "The hypothesis is that they do have a special propensity to language, they listen to the farmer."

"In the first experiment where we talk about the learning of proper nouns, the procedure we use is one where she was taught in a way that she couldn't fail," Pilley said. "We would place the object right on the floor, somewhere the dog couldn't miss."

Gradually, they moved on to other objects, and to verbs like "get" "fetch" and "go".

The scientists tested Chaser on her vocabulary by placing random groups of 20 toys in another room and having her fetch them by name. Chaser never got less than 18 out of 20 right in 838 separate tests over three years.

If Chaser is anything like some other dogs I've known, these scientists could have beaten this record if they had used food items instead of toys..believe me!

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Anonymous said...

My dogs and I have full conversations. I explain things to them and they listen to me like my teenagers do.

Freedom Fighter said...

Do they talk back as well? (LOL)


Right Truth said...

Our dog understands everything we say and she has us trained so well, she doesn't have to say anything to get us to do what she wants. A look from her and we know.

Right Truth

Independent Patriot said...

Actually come to think of it yes, I get yelled at by the dogs when I don't do what they want at the exact moment that they want it done...