3:55pm

Tue January 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Good Dog: Border Collie Learns More Than 1,000 Words

A border collie named Chaser has a attained the vocabulary of a 3-year-old child, according to a study in the journal Behavioural Processes.

Two Wofford College researchers taught the dog the names of more than 1,000 objects. MSNBC reports:

Chaser learned the names of 1,022 objects, and she demonstrated that she understood the meanings of those separate names, categories and commands in a series of hundreds of fetch trials. Sometimes the dog did better than her handlers, who reportedly had to write the names on 1,022 toys to recall them correctly.

According to Discovery, Chaser is now the dog with the world's most extensive vocabulary:

Chaser well outpaced the prior record holder, another border collie named "Rico," who learned 200 words. According to this video, Chaser also understands the basic concepts behind nouns and verbs, and can make appropriate matches between the two.

It took researchers three years to teach Chaser all 1,022 words. I'm embarrassed to say it took my dog Menina five years to learn the word "sit." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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