On the Today show this morning a border collie displayed some amazing language recognition http://tinyurl.com/4tl4nda.
Chaser knows more than 1,000 words and understands small sentences like “Fetch ball”. This made me inventory my furkids’ vocabulary.
Jake, Hope and Windy know their names, but I’m not sure they know each other’s names. We have had Jake the longest, close to six years, so his vocabulary is larger.
All three dogs know “outside” and “walk”. Jake knows to come when called. Windy knows she should come when called and does so about 70 percent of the time. Hope, on the other hand, doesn’t get the concept of coming when called. Because of her years in the Amish puppy mill, even approaching a human is a small miracle.
Jake knows the words “toy,” “snack” and “daddy”. When he sees car lights he knows a human will be around, so he must bark an alert in case trouble is approaching.
Jake and Windy know the cues for bedtime and go into the bedroom. Hope, on the other hand, only goes into the bedroom when you say, “Hope, go to bed.”
Jake knows what a suitcase is for. When he was my father’s dog, he would see suitcases, tote bags, duffle bags, etc. coming into the house and leaving the house. After my father died and Jake came to live with us, we let him travel back and forth while I was dealing with the estate.
Somehow Jake knows the difference between the purposes of a briefcase or tote bag and a suitcase or duffle bag. He doesn’t react when he sees me pack my briefcase or a tote bag, but when he sees a suitcase – he gets excited. He loves to be in a car. The problem comes when we have to start packing for a vacation a few days in advance. He doesn’t get why we aren’t leaving right then. When he sees us packing his toys, food and treats he can’t stand it. Little does he realize he will stay with a trusted friend while we go catch a plane.
How smart is your furkid? I’d say that border collie won’t be having much competition from mine.