Wofford College professor and his famously intelligent dog featured on 60 Minutes

October 6, 2014

Research from Spartanburg’s Wofford College was highlighted by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes on October 5, 2014.

Anderson Cooper meets Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys, and the scientists who are studying the brain of man’s best friend

Chaser the border collie to be featured on ’60 Minutes’ | GoUpstate.com Article

Chaser the border collie — famous for having the largest vocabulary of any known dog — and her owner, Wofford College professor John Pilley, will be featured on this Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper.

Chaser has learned the names of more than 1,000 objects through training and repetition with Pilley, who is professor emeritus of psychology at Wofford.

Chaser knows the difference between nouns and verbs, and can group similar items into categories like Frisbees and balls. The dog’s 1,022-word vocabulary surpassed the vocabulary of Rico, a border collie from Germany that knew roughly 200 words.

Pilley and a research partner published findings about Chaser in a scientific journal, leading to a media frenzy surrounding the border collie and her word-recognition abilities.

Then, Pilley’s book, “Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words,” was published in November 2013.

“We were interested in doing a story about research on dogs,” Cooper said during his visit to Wofford’s campus in February. “Chaser’s name pops up pretty quickly. Chaser is amazing. It’s incredible what she’s learned.”