Chaser learns 1000 words
Chaser, a Border Collie, has been shown to have learned the names of 1022 objects. The researchers working with Chaser showed that she not only remembered the names of the objects but was able to understand certain aspects of language.
John Pilley – a master animal trainer – was getting a new puppy in 2004, just as a German study was released on Rico, a dog who learned the names of 200 objects. Pilley decided to find the limits of dog intelligence, and began language training with Chaser when she was five months old. Chaser's training continued for three years under psychologists Alliston Reid and John Pilley.
Not only was Chaser able to learn the names of 1022 objects, but she also learned to differentiate between proper and common nouns, and to distinguish between nouns and commands.
A summary of the studies findings stated that:
- Chaser learned the names of 1022 toys
- Demonstrated independence of meaning of names and commands
- Learned that common nouns represent categories
- Learned words by inferential reasoning of exclusion
- Demonstrated referential understanding of nouns