Dr. John Pilley Proved to the Scientific Community What Every Dog Lover Already Knows
Dr. John Pilley ..................................
This mild mannered professor and his dog Chaser proved to the scientific community what dog lovers have known all along… that dogs understand much of what we say. Chaser knows over a thousand of them—more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command.
Dr. John Pilley’s groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dog’s mind.
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JOHN W. PILLEY is an emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He has been working with Chaser since 2004 and has published the findings from their work in the Journal Behavioural Processes. (THE RESEARCH page.)
Pilley has always been a lover of dogs and animals. His work with Chaser was preceded with his first collie named Fluffy in the 60's, through a gregarious Shepard mutt named Bimbo & a gentle German Shepard giant named Grindle to his first venture into the realm of border collies in 1978 with his beloved family dog Yasha.
All of the dogs were quite well behaved and trained however, it was Yasha who would attend class every day with Pilley. And while Yasha's trainings were not scientific, he would assist Pilley in teaching classes with his varied performances which included math (ala Clever Hans), closing doors, retrieving chalk board erasers and various objects left behind in the office. (as well as a command to "nip" any student that appeared to be falling asleep in class.) Yasha was awarded his own student ID and given passage to area's on campus that other canines were restricted from.
The bond between Pilley & Yasha set the stage for his work and incredibly close relationship with Chaser, which came several years after Pilley's retirement. It has only been during these years that Pilley has slowed down enough to be able to log in significant hours to work with Chaser. His time was previously devoted to his family, students and personal passions of whitewater kayaking and windsurfing.
While Chaser is a research animal, she is first and foremost a member of the Pilley family. Her love of play and her instinct for herding has provided a unique hotbed of learning that has proved to be groundbreaking and inspiring.
To learn more about this remarkable canine/human bond, please pre-order the heartwarming new book "CHASER, Unlocking The Genius Behind The Dog Who Knows A Thousand Words" Release is 10.29.13. Available at B&N, Amazon, Books-a-Million.