Girl (pictured left) was showing off her best party trick last week. Her father asks her to sit, give one paw, then give the other paw, and then to “speak”. Girl dutifully sat, shook one paw after another with him and barked just once. Then she jumped up, barking happily, tongue lolling out, pleased as punch at her own cleverness.
Thing is, does Girl know what her dad is saying or is she operating on some other level? Check out Clever Girl or Clever Hans in the print version of the Malaysian national daily The Star Weekend section tomorrow.
And FYI here are some of the sources for the piece:
Word Learning in a Domestic Dog: Evidence for "Fast Mapping"
Juliane Kaminski, Josep Call, and Julia Fischer prove that a border collie, Rico, is able to fast map. Rico knows the labels of over 200 different items.
Clever Hans the Math Horse A nicely written account of how the Clever Hans trick worked.
The Skeptics Dictionary Clever Hans phenomenon article has some interesting resources for further reading.
Also: This is Joey. She runs around Friends Furry Farm all day, playing with people and her furry friends. The only time she likes to be alone is during feeding time: Joey is very greedy and pushes the others away from their food bowls with fierce barks! This 3 year old girl is very smart. She comes whenever you call her name, and she can scale tall fences with no problem. She’d be a great candidate for an agility training programme. Joey needs a loving home. If you want to adopt her, please email sabrinayeap AT gmail.com or sms to 016-6319018. PS: Sorry I'm a bit behind on the blogging. I've got piles of work and just haven't had the time. Plan to clear the decks soon and then catch up with everyone!