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Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words

 
 
Author
John W. Pilley, with Hilary Hinzmann.
Publisher Mariner  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.3 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780544334595
Pages/Publication Date 268/2013
Daedalus Item Code 73767
This item is not available.
Description
She starred in the PBS Nova episode "How Smart Are Dogs?" and wowed correspondent Anderson Cooper on the October 5, 2014, edition of 60 Minutes; she has been featured in articles in New Scientist, Science News, Popular Science, and the New York Times. Chaser is a beautiful, bright-eyed border collie who can distinguish between more than a thousand objects by name, and understands verbs, locations, category nouns, and prepositions; when seeking a hidden toy, for instance, she knows how to use clues like "hot" and "cold" to zero in on the object. And yet, says retired psychologist John Pilley, her owner and trainer, Chaser's intelligence is not so unusual; her success is due to her eagerness to work (a trait of her breed) and the particular training she received. Many dogs can learn similar feats, Pilley insists, and in this extraordinary book he describes Chaser's upbringing, the teaching methods that any dog owner can apply, and the implications for our understanding of animal intelligence.

"After you read Chaser, you will realize that you may have underestimated the intelligence of your dog. Marvelous insights into a dog's mind."—Temple Grandin

"This is an extraordinary book, full of warmth and wisdom, that has the potential to forever change the way we look at dogs.... Chaser is not only a loving affirmation for readers who already know how much they adore and trust the ability of dogs, but is also a game-changer for skeptical scientists, who must find themselves, after reading this remarkable book, inching closer to recognizing the full humanity of dogs."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

"Chaser arrived in the author's household as an eight-week-old puppy, destined for the dual role of pet and research subject. From the start, she demonstrated a quick ability to learn, a strong herding drive, and an open and accepting personality, all of which made her the ideal dog for training and for advanced learning. In a warm, folksy narrative style, Pilley describes the steps he took in teaching words to Chaser.... [He] artfully describes his training techniques, which can be extrapolated to any dog, and shows us exactly how Chaser learned.... This marvelous blend of good science and heartwarming dog story will inspire all of us to reexamine our canine friends."—Booklist (starred review)

 
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