Read Reading Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words – Andy-palmer.co.uk


Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words ANew York Times Bestseller The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence Chaser has a way with words She knows over a thousand of them than any other animal of any species except humans In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation John s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaser s accomplishments His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dog s mind Chaser s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem solving skills to address novel challenges Yet astonishingly, Chaser isn t unique John s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and effectively channeling a dog s natural drives John s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on what s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn

  • Hardcover
  • 260 pages
  • Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words
  • John W. Pilley
  • 14 February 2018
  • 0544102576

About the Author: John W. Pilley

JOHN W PILLEY is an emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College He has been working with Chaser since 2004 and has published the findings from their work in the journal Behavioural Processes.



10 thoughts on “Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words

  1. says:

    This was an enjoyable and educational read Dr Pilley, a retired psychology professor who loves dogs, takes the time to not only educate his border collie, but document her learning so that there is some scientific contribution made in terms of what animals can understand about language and how they learn The book is farin depth than any videos you can see about Chaser, yet accessible to the average reader vs scientist in terms of methodology It is clear that Chaser is a loved family m This was an enjoyable and educational read Dr Pilley, a retired psychology professor who loves dogs, takes the time to not only educate his border collie, but document her learning so that there is some scientific contribution made in terms of what animals can understand about language and how they learn The book is farin depth than any videos you can see about Chaser, yet accessible to the average reader vs scientist in terms of methodology It is clear that Chaser is a loved family member and that her aptitude is capitalized on Not every dog or every border collie will be able to achieve these results However, what was interesting is the way he trained her and one can get some good ideas about communication training to use with your own dog if you d like to try His techniques are positive and tailored to the dog Chaser istoy motivated than treat motivated dogs like that can be harder to train but Pilley has really done a wonderful job with Chaser, making the most of that strong toy drive.One thing I enjoyed about the book was that, although in no way portrayed as a negative, it should be obvious to the average reader that a border collie is not a good dog for most people They have such drive and energy, what it takes to keep them happy is waythan most people can provide Chaser is very lucky she has an owner who worked with her natural play and herding drives to make learning fun for her, and also documented it to make it useful for scientific research He clearly recognizes that when she is asked to perform and not rewarded with play it s not fair It should also be clear that even a dog like Chaser, who is trained hours per day, can be a handful she has a will of her own She is not always obedient She can be very demanding She will not let you watch TV and ignore her This is the truth about most herding breeds they really are very demanding and in the wrong homes they become neurotic or destructive I hope that Chaser s popularity doesn t motivate people to get border collies for the wrong reasons hopefully anyone who reads the book will realize that, as with all smart animals, they are a HUGE commitment If you like really smart dogs, are interested in dog training, or you have an interest in language skills and animal vs human language learning, you are sure to enjoy this I think even most dog lovers would enjoy it, though there is a lot of emphasis on training techniques I found it enjoyable throughout

  2. says:

    John Pilley uses old school psychology to train his border collie in Chaser Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words, co authored with Hilary Hinzmann What a coincidence that the methods he uses, based on his experience as a professor of human psychology, look a lot like force free dog training With one exception Like Ted Kerasote in Merle s Door, Pilley turns to an aversive method to curb Chaser s chase drive While Kerasote used a shock collar, Pilley uses a mighty jerk John Pilley uses old school psychology to train his border collie in Chaser Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words, co authored with Hilary Hinzmann What a coincidence that the methods he uses, based on his experience as a professor of human psychology, look a lot like force free dog training With one exception Like Ted Kerasote in Merle s Door, Pilley turns to an aversive method to curb Chaser s chase drive While Kerasote used a shock collar, Pilley uses a mighty jerk of a long line and a stern No It s hard for me to say these techniques are wrong, wrong, wrong, because as far as reported, they prevented the dogs from chasing things, and neither Merle nor Chaser developed aggressive or fearful tendencies as a result I can say that knowing what I now know, I would never use either method on a dog.Otherwise, the book is a joy to read I love that this retired professor refers to himself as Chaser s Pop Pop because that s what his grandson calls him Throughout, Pilley emphasizes how much fun it is for Chaser to learn new words He turns down an offer to let another scientist work with her, which would have meantacademic acclaim, because that would mean having Chaser live with someone else temporarily Above all, Chaser is a family dog.When Chaser appears on the Today Show, Pilley feels bad that Chaser doesn t have a chance to play with her toys after fetching them by name for Matt Lauer Chaser is supposed to get to play with her toys as her reward for fetching the right toy.I ve heard dog trainers brag about how many words their dogs know How do they really know I wondered Beyond their names and basic obedience commands, most dogs know outside or walk or dinner, but how do you keep track of the number of words Pilley set about it scientifically, by giving each toy a unique name He has a list of 1,022 different toy names that Chaser understands He also teaches her categories of words she knows a racquetball by its name Blue, and also knows that it is a toy and a ball Pilley works with Chaser for hours a day With that much dedication, I bet any dog of above average intelligence could learn quite a few words

  3. says:

    The information provided on Chaser and his ability to learn was very interesting to me personally However, I found the positive influence this project had on the author, Johm Pilley, equally fascinating Pilley did his extensive work with Chaser in his late 70s, and it is still continuing into his mid 80s The research, as well as his incredibly strong relationship with his dog, have kept him physically, mentally, and spiritually energized As a senior citizen who works with active large dogs, The information provided on Chaser and his ability to learn was very interesting to me personally However, I found the positive influence this project had on the author, Johm Pilley, equally fascinating Pilley did his extensive work with Chaser in his late 70s, and it is still continuing into his mid 80s The research, as well as his incredibly strong relationship with his dog, have kept him physically, mentally, and spiritually energized As a senior citizen who works with active large dogs, I find that very encouraging.This is a book worth reading for anyone interested in animal intelligence or simply in learningabout dogs as our companions or both I enjoyed it and admire Professor Pilley for his impressive dedication to his new career, furthering our understanding of canine language acquisition In my opinion, he models the perfect retirement It sure beats sitting on a beach or lounging on the front porch He is quite an inspiration

  4. says:

    The story does have a scientific background in language learning, but it s primarily a memory, author s personal experience of the communication with the dog, through training It s difficult to avoid the comparison between own dog with Chaser which is extremely susceptibility to learning, but I m convinced that we all see our own pets as the smartest and the most beautiful animal in the world, and that we all can share our own breathtaking experience of our pets in communicating with us Th The story does have a scientific background in language learning, but it s primarily a memory, author s personal experience of the communication with the dog, through training It s difficult to avoid the comparison between own dog with Chaser which is extremely susceptibility to learning, but I m convinced that we all see our own pets as the smartest and the most beautiful animal in the world, and that we all can share our own breathtaking experience of our pets in communicating with us The story is full of joy and love, and perfectly illustrates the relationship between man and dog, how great sometimes moody and too demanding companions are dogs

  5. says:

    Chaser is a border collie who knows the names of over one thousand of her toys She can fetch them, paw at them or nose them on command by others too not just her dad trainer This is the story of how Dr Pilley, a retired psychology professor trained and tested Chaser It also covers how they got published and the shows they were on It is very interesting if a little long winded Chaser knows a bunch of balls by ball, an individual name and toy How Dr Pilley taught this to Chaser was gone o Chaser is a border collie who knows the names of over one thousand of her toys She can fetch them, paw at them or nose them on command by others too not just her dad trainer This is the story of how Dr Pilley, a retired psychology professor trained and tested Chaser It also covers how they got published and the shows they were on It is very interesting if a little long winded Chaser knows a bunch of balls by ball, an individual name and toy How Dr Pilley taught this to Chaser was gone over in detail Again very interesting And then all over again for the frisbees That happenedthan once What I like the most is above all else Chaser is a pet She doesn t live in a lab and Dr Pilley refers to her as his research partner Just as I think it should be One final thoughtall of Chaser s toys are labeled Anyone else think she s just reading the names RIP Chaser 7 23 19 A dog I would have loved to have met Also RIP Dr Pilley 6 17 18

  6. says:

    So much nicer an ending than Dogs of Babel We need to learn the language of dogs instead of thinking they need to speak the language of humans.

  7. says:

    Interesting book, VERY interesting dog Lucky dog to have come into the life of the perfect human being for her He is a mostly retired psychology professor who loves dogs and has a lot of time on his hands, literally 4 5 hours a day to work with the dog, plus students to help him It s the perfect storm of people, animal, and passion for each other s well being Some aspects of the book were a bit tedious He d start out talking about something mundane and I d be thinking, something is going t Interesting book, VERY interesting dog Lucky dog to have come into the life of the perfect human being for her He is a mostly retired psychology professor who loves dogs and has a lot of time on his hands, literally 4 5 hours a day to work with the dog, plus students to help him It s the perfect storm of people, animal, and passion for each other s well being Some aspects of the book were a bit tedious He d start out talking about something mundane and I d be thinking, something is going to happen here, and well, nothing does But on the whole, if you re a dog lover and into all the new research going on in the field of canine ethology, or you just really love cool dogs, this is a good read

  8. says:

    I really don t think there was enough here to fill an entire book, so there was a lot of filler that I found myself skipping over Still, I enjoyed it, and am trying some of the things I learned here with my own dog I loved the photo on the back flap it made me smile every time I looked at it.

  9. says:

    I don t think there are many who would deny that pets can understand some things that we say And some pets are smarter than others Dogs particularly seem to have a gift of intelligence, especially breeds like border collies.A friend has a border collie who I have dog sat several times over the years Flash amazes me with her soulful eyes and the way she seems to understand Once this summer I came in to take care of her I couldn t find the ball she loved to play with so I asked her, Flash, I don t think there are many who would deny that pets can understand some things that we say And some pets are smarter than others Dogs particularly seem to have a gift of intelligence, especially breeds like border collies.A friend has a border collie who I have dog sat several times over the years Flash amazes me with her soulful eyes and the way she seems to understand Once this summer I came in to take care of her I couldn t find the ball she loved to play with so I asked her, Flash, where is your ball She immediately went over to the couch, crouched down, and put her nose to the ground I looked under the couch at that spot and guess what was under the couch, about 12 inches back Yep the ball It really was amazing.Chaser is also a border collie Her owner, professor John Pilley, worked with her to the point where she had learned over 1000 words Pilley had owned several dogs, but when his beloved dog died while Pilley was in his 70s, he said he would not get another His wife, however, decided he needed one and so they adopted Chaser.Pilley was retired and devoted hours each day 4 5 hours of language training daily, and 2 3 hours of other physical activity to training Chaser Dogs of all breeds and mixtures of breeds can be highly intelligent, but no dogs have shown greater skill and creativity at problem solving than Border collies He knew he had the ideal subject in Chaser Pilley was no passive trainer either when he wanted Chaser to roll over, etc., Pilley would get onto the ground and do the thing too.It was fun reading how Pilley scavenged at thrift shops for toys for Chaser imagine having over 1000 unique dog toys in your house and trained him After a research paper came out, Chaser became famous, appearing on TV shows This book did seem to get repetitive at times, but honestly given the repetitive nature of training a pet, this kind of seemed appropriate I loved reading about Chaser, but just as much I enjoyed reading about John Pilley and his joy at working with his dog

  10. says:

    Chaser is a Very Good Dog.

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