Chaser the Dog Who Knows 1000 Words Book Review #Chaser1000

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Chaser the Dog Who Knows 1000 Words by John Pilley

Chaser the Dog Who Knows 1000 Words
Guest Post by: Chloe Divita
As I read the story of Chaser, I found myself re-considering some of my training methods with my own dogs, thinking through their reactions and acknowledging their differences. John Pilley, Chaser’s Pop-pop, is an emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College. His scientific approach to training was one I never really considered. As Chaser’s Pop-pop he is a loving, caring pet parent, and as a scientist he is organized and methodical to show us that there is more to Chaser than just training. She learns. She has the power of deduction, and his research shows that a dog’s intelligence is something that we have not fully unlocked yet.

A friend once told Pilley, “When you get a pet, sooner or later you get a broken heart.” Then, later in the book, continued that statement with, “Your heart gets whole when you can risk it being broken again.” How true is that? My heart has been filled and broken and filled and broken, and each cycle only makes my heart stronger and more able to love. Pilley’s heart being filled with Chaser after being broken by his loss of Yasha, Chaser’s predecessor, is heart-warming to read, and can be seen in this book trailer video. The loss of Yasha deeply affected him. It kept him from getting another dog for many years, but when the time was right, and when he was ready to risk his heart again, Chaser came into his life and brought a spirit back to him that had been missing since Yasha’s passing.

I wish I had the time Pilley had to raise Chaser. I would love to see where my dogs would be if I could have focused on them the way Pilley focused on Chaser. Reading about his success with her and his feelings of accomplishment when things moved forward steadily, and then his disappointment when something seemed like a set-back, were genuine and heartfelt. I could picture myself in his place and feeling what he was feeling: excited that she correctly picked 18 of 20 toys out of a pile by name, and disappointed when it took much longer to get his work with her published in a scientific magazine.

Pilley is through and through a scientist, but his world of discovery is one every dog lover can relate to. His trial and error when communicating with Chaser to go beyond knowing the names of toys created a level of appreciation for me for both Pilley’s patience and for Chaser’s abilities to learn and remember. Pilley took the time to figure out how he could communicate with Chaser so that she would understand, instead of trying to make her understand just one way. One discovery he had was that Chaser learned faster when spoken to with the same syntax structure that the Spanish language uses. Instead of “Take ball to Frisbee”, he would say, “To Frisbee, take ball.” This made all the difference in unlocking Chaser’s communication, and Pilley was pleased he had “stumbled onto a sentence format used in a real human language.”

Learning of Chaser’s skills and how Pilley was able to unlock them from her was motivating for me. I’ll have a new level of patience (I think) when communicating with my dogs. Chaser doesn’t even know how famous she is, and luckily her Pop-pop is most concerned with her learning and her communication, than with her being a celebrity. I doubt many of us will get a chance to meet Chaser in our lives because the family is quite content in their hometown, cherishing every moment with Chaser. This is a book to educate and inspire and highly recommend it.

Copies of the Book can be purchased through Chaser’s Website


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This is a sponsored post on behalf of BlogPaws for the launch of the Book Chaser the Dog Who Knows 1000 Words.

Comments

  1. Mya Murphy says:

    I have a seizure alert dog, and I never thought I would ever love my baby as much as I do. He is my world. He takes care of me, without question or complaint. I would LOVE to hear what he has to say. To think to have an actual conversation with him, would be awesome!! He’s plenty smart enough to learn words, but never thought about ever trying to accomplish this.

  2. I would love to have taught my Socks, Benji and Gabby the respect that I have for them and their intelligence. I know that they have all understood my great love for them, but to communicate RESPECT for their canine intellect would be my dream

  3. Marian Boll says:

    I have 3 rescue dogs and they are more family than some of my relatives!!!

  4. I would love to teach our 2 rescue dogs how to tell us where it hurts when they are in pain. The look on their face says a lot but it would be great if they could just talk.

  5. Patty wright says:

    Dogs are smart but I didn’t know they were that smart

  6. I wish that my dog had known the difference between ringing the bell to go potty and ringing the bell just because she wanted to play outside ;)

  7. We recently adopted an older Border Collie and are amazed at how much she already knows and how quickly she grasps new things. Hope that reading this book will teach me a few things about teaching her.

  8. Would love to read this book. Leaving another comment since I cannot enter via Pinterest or Instagram. When our previous BC passed, I felt I would never be able to open up my heart to another again, the pain was so bad. It was the adoption of another BC, full of life and love, that healed me. I believe in the power of dog.

  9. I would love if my dog understood how much I love her, even when I don’t give her treats. ;)

  10. Linda Kish says:

    I have problems distinguishing between I want to go out to the back yard and I want to go out for a walk. Sometimes it takes a while before I figure it out. I wish he could tell me.

  11. Vlad & Barkly's Dee says:

    I talk to the boys a lot when I’m doing anything with them–walking, grooming, watching TV. I only hope that even the most miniscule bit of what I say to them makes sense. Sometimes I think they’re understanding every bit, but then at other times, I know I’m getting blank stares that indicate I’ve gone over their heads.

  12. I know werds. Bein a kitteh I don’t like commands but I will listen to ma humanz do what they ask (if they ask nicely).
    boris kitty recently posted..Enter Contest for #JacksPawty Here Plus List of Pawty PwizesMy Profile

  13. I need to teach my new dog not to zoom in and out the back door, thus knocking into some of my other dogs at times.

  14. I wish my dogs could tell me what was wrong when they weren’t feeling well or when they are sad. I love my doggies- they are spoiled like kids

  15. Monja Blue says:

    Animal whispering is a gift based upon respect, understanding & deep love. Many times they meet us at our map of the world indicating their awareness is much sharper than ours. My sister has this gift & I’ve seen it play out many times with dogs, cats, horses, you name it! Would that we could communicate so effectively with unconditional love.

  16. Heather B says:

    I wish I could get my dog to stop being so territorial! Any time someone walks by or he sees another dog he freaks out. He was never this way, then he was attacked by a beagle and now is super territorial.

  17. tina reynolds says:

    I would love for ym dog to talk and give me feadback

  18. Amy Bostic says:

    I wish I could teach my dogs how to tell me they are in pain

  19. It would be great if they could let me know when they aren’t feeling well. Sometimes it’s obvious but it would always be better to know as soon as possible.

  20. Kelly Ann T. says:

    I would like to teach my dog more words. He already knows purple ball, squeaky toy and kong.

  21. Beth Klocinski says:

    I would love to teach my dog to ring the bell on the door to go outside. Currently she “tells” me when she wants something but her cue for food and to potty are the same.

  22. Elizabeth Turner says:

    to yard go potty

  23. I would teach my dogs that if I say the person coming through the door is ok that they don’t lunge at them. Such a drag- have to crate them every time someone new walks in the door, and go through a whole introduction. Our big dog is fine the next time- he just barks, but our smaller dog lives Groundhog Day all the time and has to go through the exercise every time. Gotta love them anyway, and will continue doing the formal introductions to keep our guests safe and not freak the dogs out.

  24. I’m am just seeing your amazing review of my fathers book. Brava and well said. It’s incredible to witness the impact his work has on dog lovers. Thank you so much for the wonderful support. Much gratitude,
    Chaser’s sister, Deb.

Trackbacks

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  2. […] Check out Dr. John Pilley’s Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows A Thousand Words, to join the conversation…(Two Little Cavaliers) […]

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