Throughout this series, we’ve talked about the characteristics that set Chaser officially recognized as the world’s smartest dog. But best is last, as you’re about to read.
Something that goes beyond regular recognition when addressing recall in dogs, is assessing a correct response when interacting with unknown items. In what’s probably the hardest test yet, Chaser is asked to not only recognize a previously unseen object but also expected to bring it back to the owner.
From what can be gathered, it can only be explained by the power of deduction. when presented with 3 objects, two of them previously known, Chaser would pause for a bit. It would look closely at the known objects, & just from the unrecognized sound to name the unrecognized object, it’s able to connect both.
When asked to fetch, it’s understood that something needs to be fetched. So it matches the new name to the previously unseen new item by the power of elimination. It ponders on the known items long enough to deduct that’s not what’s being asked to fetch. It’s still, though not completely understood how.
Chaser’s power of concentration is unmatched, even among its peers. That look in its eyes seems more intense & luminous than any other border collie. The things it was asked to do in order to ‘show off’ intelligence, seem more explainable in the realm of “thinking” rather than the one on “reacting”.
Even when asked to meet a human, Chaser would look up (very rare for dogs to get used to it as it is). Then would, unprompted, do a ‘doggie handshake’ before moving on to the rest of the day. The pooch would also remain high-strung, even when being told to ‘relax’; always ready for immediate action.
Another mode of distinction from other border collies is looking forward to meeting new persons. As if by doing so, it’ll be learning something new. & when saying goodbye to Chaser, instead of feeling silly, it’s as if you just know she understood what was being said.
Goodbye, for now.