A border collie has learned more than 1,000 words, showing US researchers that her memory is not only better than theirs, but that she understands quite a bit about how language works.
Chaser learned the names for 1,022 toys, so many that her human handlers had to write on them in marker so that they wouldn't forget, said study co-author Alliston Reid, a psychology professor at Wofford College in South Carolina.
With that repertoire, Chaser has far outpaced another dog, Rico, found by German researchers to be able to grasp about 200 words, according to a study published in 2004 in the journal Science.
As a border collie, Chaser comes from a breed of herding dog known for its intelligence, energy and strong work ethic.
Reid said she might be able to learn even more words, but her keepers stopped at 1,022 after three years of training simply because of time constraints.