Border Collie Comprehends Over 1000 Object Names as Verbal Referents
The authors demonstrated that their dog, Chaser, learned the names of 1022 objects—no upper limit is apparent—they stopped training the dog after three years due to their time constraints, not because the dog could not learn more names. This study demonstrates Chaser’s ability to learn the names of proper nouns, and her extensive vocabulary was tested repeatedly under carefully controlled conditions. The authors admitted that she remembered the names of each of her 1022 toys better than they could. Chaser’s ability to learn and remember more than 1000 proper nouns, each mapped to a unique object, revealed clear evidence of several capacities necessary for learning receptive human language: the ability to discriminate between 1022 different sounds representing names of objects, the ability to discriminate many objects visually, an extensive vocabulary, and a substantial memory system that allowed the mapping of many auditory stimuli to many visual stimuli.
(Image via wofford.edu)