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    Dr. John Pilley, owner of worlds smartest dog, Chaser, passes

    Saw the obit of Dr. Pilley from Spartanburg, SC and emeritus prof of Wofford College and who passed away last month. Reminded me of his fame for training the world's smartest dog, Chaser, a border collie. Chaser was taught and understood over 1000 words and wowed even Neil deGrasse Tyson on NOVA. Also on 60 Minutes. Chaser is pretty damn impressive, and I admired Dr. Pilley for his dog.


    Chaser is a Border Collie with the largest tested memory of any non-human animal. She can identify 1,022 toys by their name and retrieve them by name and by category. She was taught by retired Wofford College professor and psychologist Dr. John W. Pilley, with the formal research published. Chaser's owner (Dr. John W. Pilley) died on Sunday, June 17, 2018. In April, he had been diagnosed with leukemia. Pilley would have turned ninety on July 1, 2018.

    In addition to being able to recognize the names of more than one thousand toys, she recognizes common nouns such as house, tree and ball. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer Dr. John W. Pilley continued her training, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.

    Chaser can learn new words by "inferential reasoning by exclusion", that is, inferring the name of a new object by excluding objects whose names she already knows.
    And Chaser is so cute too. Here is Neil deGrasse Tyson:

    Last edited by rthomas; 07-27-2018 at 01:24 PM.

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