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What We're Learning From the World's Smartest Dog

With a 1,000-plus word vocabulary, Chaser may be the most important dog in the history of modern scientific research. While dogs can develop the mental capacity of a 2-year-old toddler, she has learned more than three times the number of words. What's the secret sauce in her specialness?

World's Smartest Dog


  • A 2014 60 Minutes video segment about the canine brain and intellect features the brilliant Border Collie, Chaser, and her human, John Pilley, in an interview with Anderson Cooper
  • In the segment, Cooper also interviews canine behavior experts Brian Hare of Duke University, developer of the Dognition website, and Gregory Berns of Emory University, who developed a technique for running fMRI brain scans on alert, non-sedated dogs to watch their brains in action
  • Hare believes Chaser to be the most important dog in the history of modern scientific research; however, he also suspects that the secret sauce in her specialness was Pilley’s willingness to spend so much time with her, helping her to learn words

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