You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Denali's favorite word

Some dogs understand more words than others


Chaser the border collie knows 1,000 words. He can pick a toy – correctly – out of a thousand just by being asked to find it. He can dig out "Inky," bring "lips" and find "tennis."

It's really quite extraordinary to watch – almost as extraordinary as the clues Chaser might be giving to scientists. Is it possible for dogs expand their vocabulary? Understand elementary grammar? Make inferences? Scientists can only hope.

A story in The New York Times ( points out, though, that Chaser is a border collie – a breed that is diligent and always willing to please its owner. The experiments might not work on, let's say, a husky.

Denali might know 50 words. Might. He regularly responds to (or chooses to disregard): come, sit, down, stay, off, left, right, stop, let's go, outside, go bed, go poop, drop it, leave it, kisses.

Oh, and Denali's favorite: "Are you hungry?" Uttering that phrase always elicits a reaction. Just watch.