Or so the bumper sticker says.
On this Fourth of July, it seems appropriate to salute man’s best friend in a brief holiday post. Meet Chaser, a true canine linguistic champion.
Chaser understands more than 1,000 words, along with simple sentences. Her vocabulary includes the names of 1,022 objects, including 800 stuffed animals, 116 balls and 26 “Frisbees,” any of which she can fetch on command.
In addition, if a new toy is placed among her playthings, she is able to retrieve it when given its unfamiliar name, inferring its identity by a process of exclusion. She also has been studying her verbs, demonstrating that she knows how to “find,” “nose” and “paw” each of her toys. I assume that next she will be working on her gerunds and finishing her mastery of the subjunctive mood.
Happy Fourth, Chaser!
You can read more about Chaser and see her in action in this ABC News1 story.
1ABC News, “World’s Smartest Dog? Meet a Border Collie Whose Memory Astounds,” February 9, 2011.