I am absolutely fascinated with the new book, Chaser, written by John W. Pilley with Hilary Hinzmann. This dog actually knows a THOUSAND words!! I was skeptical at first when I read the cover of the book, but as I started reading, it was clear that this was no ordinary dog...this was one REALLY smart pup!! Chaser actually knows more words than any other animal of any species except HUMANS. She can recognize basic nouns like ball or tree or house and has actually memorized the names of her toys. Chaser has over one thousand toys!! That is a whole LOT of toys to remember the names of!!
As I was reading the book, I found that my interest was piqued and I wanted to learn more and more about Chaser. So, I did a search on YouTube to see if I could find a video of Chaser...I watched a video of Chaser retrieving her toys on command. Chaser's owner and trainer, John Pilley, who is a retired psychologist has done a remarkable job in training Chaser and she can actually understand full sentences! This is a whole new understanding of an animal's intelligence!! Chaser is able to reveal her remarkable problem-solving skills and address the challenges her trainer gives her.
What I find truly impressive is that the training methods used on Chaser can be put to use by any of us. This book demonstrates the positive impact of combining learning and play. It channels the dog's natural instincts and points us toward a new way of relating to our dogs.
This book is so inspiring that it makes me want to grab the girls and go out and teach them the names of all of their toys right now!! I want them to be able to retrieve them all by name. I know that it is possible...just by reading this book! Whether my girls would be as responsive as Chase ... I am not so sure!! Apparently Border Collies are THE smartest dogs. Based on what I have just read, I tend to agree with this statement.
I watched a video of Chaser attending the kindergarten class at his owner's grandson's school. Chaser was asked to retrieve toys by name and he did it correctly each and every time. Then Mr. Pilley asked the class to pick out an item that Chaser had never seen before. During this exercise, Mr. Pilley's grandson took Chaser behind the desk so that he could not see what the other students were doing. One little girl presented Mr. Pilley with a red change purse. Of course, Chaser would not be familiar with this particular change purse as he had never even met the little girl before! Well...Mr. Pilley asked Chaser to go get "Red Purse" and lo and behold...he DID it! I wanted to stand up and applaud! This dog is truly AMAZING!!
I find this book to be interesting, engaging and so inspiring! I love that at the end of the book is an appendix with the names (listed alphabetically) of ALL of Chaser's Toys.
This book made me smile!! Don't you just love books that make you smile??
Talk about an amazing partnership...check out this book today!!