[M]ost dog owners like to think our dogs are smart and this is certainly true for Border Collie owners (come on…you know it’s true). I, personally, think Ned is sharp as a whip and can pick up on even the slightest ques from my wife and I. He has blown me away with how fast he learns new tricks that I consider to be pretty complicated. I’ve had the hair on the back of my neck stand up a bit when Ned reacts to something so slight, so minor that it at times seems like he’s reading my mind. Ever had that happen with yours?
So the question comes up: Just how smart are these dogs and how much can they really learn? Well two guys figured out they’d give it a shot. John Pilley and Alliston Reid are both psychologists and they got to wondering if there was an upper limit to how much a dog could really learn. They had heard about a 9 year old Border Collie named Rico who had a vocabulary of 200 words. They wanted to see how much higher they could go.
After working for about 5 hours a day for a few years with Chaser they now have a dog that recognizes over 1000 toys by name. Border Collie Chaser knows over one thousand different toys by name. You’ve got to check this video out…
On top of learning over 1000 objects by name she also can string together instructions. It’s amazing. I’ll let you check out a the website for the specifics but I thought it was an amazing example of what these dogs are capable of.
Here’s that link: Border Collie Chaser.