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Border Collie Trained to Recognize 1,022 Nouns Dies (nytimes.com)
195 points by pseudolus 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments



"Chaser was taught to understand sentences containing a prepositional object, verb and direct object."

I would have never believed this if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. A friend has a golden retriever that I was playing with one day, and I asked him to get me a stick. He did, but it wasn't the stick I was thinking of, so I just off hand said, "no, not that stick, the one by the rock." and damn if that dog didn't drop it and go get the one by the rock. So I said, "put that stick with the other stick." Bam, done. I was stunned. I told my friend and he said, "oh, yeah, not surprised. He's smart." Now, maybe he didn't fully understand the sentences, and was simply understanding my body language and watching my eyes, movements, etc for clues, but even if so... dang.

Now, my dimwitted sweetheart of a pup often gets confused just between "sit" and "down", but I love her anyway :)


I wonder what would happen if we selectively bred dogs for that type of intelligence rather than for appearance and temperment? What are the upper limits of canine intelligence?


We've been doing that. However, we have been selecting particularly for obedience which limited their intelligence.

We don't want actually a dog that is super-intelligent but just one that is funny, protective and smart-enough.


We adopted some dogs that have been abandoned; those you don't pick for any traits besides them not being completely crazy/vicious. We had (and have) ones that no-one wants because they are too smart; they are escape artists and very good thieves. They know how to trick you. They are absolutely not obedient, even after training (they seem to train easy, but they are just doing what gives them the quickest treat; if that ends they immediately stop again). I like them more than the obedient ones really.


A super-intelligent dog would be a pretty bad pet. Smart dogs get bored, and bored dogs get into trouble. A super-intelligent dog would be able to get into entirely new kinds of trouble. It would take a huge effort to keep it entertained and happy and well-adjusted.

A dog like that would need a full-time job, rather than being just a household pet.


This would be a great neuroscience hobby project. Plus you'd get "free" gov-grant paid dogs too.


Border Collies were supposedly bred for intelligence and obedience.


A wolf will be always the most intelligent dog bred available. You can't easily improve the job of millions of years selecting the brightest animals. Not in 50 or 100 years.


Brunner's 'Shockwave Rider' has an interesting vision of how super-intelligent dogs might take care of security for village sized human communities.


Breed slightly too much intelligence into them, and suddenly your security guards are going to take that village hostage unless they receive double food quota...


Sounds like they earned the right to strike at that point ;)


Since bringing up books, Clifford D. Simak's "City" is recounted by dogs being told stories about humans, and how they disappeared, while asking questions about human civilization such as what a "city" is, and what "war" is.


Given time and if you are prepared that the end result won't be a dog anymore at least as intelligent as humans.


Wolves. You would get wolves.


Wolves are actually... different in terms of intelligence. IIRC, there's study about how wolves tend not to rely on human help regardless of how long the wolves have lived with humans. They just ... don't get it. They can't tell that they can cooperate with humans. e.g. if there is a door and the wolf can't reach the latch, it won't seek help from the human at all, whereas a dog likely will.


I have a maltipoo(wifes choice) that was especially difficult to train, and hard headed. I thought it was because he was not especially bright, but turns out to be the opposite. I tell him get me a ball, he runs off and returns with a ball. I tell him get me his rope, same thing. In the morning he jumps on me and wants to go outside, when I want to snooze a bit, I say "go lay down", no pointing no body language to read he goes and lays at my feet for a while longer.

Watched the attached video of chaser, and totally agree with one point made- play is the way to teach an animal, not food. Dogs love exercise, and training with food is a great way to make your dog obese, which will make exercise more difficult and its overall happiness reduced. My dogs are 10x happier when they hear "you wanna go for a walk?" than "do you want a treat?"


Did you point with your fingers or just talked. That would be really amazing if you just talked without finger-pointing as that would require more guess-work from the dog.

I don't think the dog understands exactly what you are saying but they are doing guess-work and trying to please. I had a puppy that I was trying to potty-train outside the apartment.

It didn't go very well. Until one time I'm back home and I found out she did it near the sofa. I screamed. She became quite disciplined after that. She guessed that potty-location is very important and something she has to care about.


Did you point with your fingers or just talked.

I didn't do anything as overt as finger pointing, but I do know from plenty of reading on animal training that they're very perceptive to non-verbal cues that you may not even be aware you are doing (ala https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clever_Hans).


I read a book about Chaser shortly before I got my pup. And I followed much a what I read, naming everything he came in contact with, talking to him using familiar nouns and verbs, not wasting words. At almost 3, he's not Chaser smart, but he has developed an ear that can recognize the most subtle variations in words, and he can figure out novel combinations of nouns/verbs sometimes with a direct obect. For example right after he learned the word window, he could generalize it to any glass that you look out through, and then I could tell him to "take the [object name] to the window" and he would find the nearest window (or glass door) and bring the given object there.

He was way ahead of a human child in terms of linguistic cognition up until maybe the age of about 1 and a half, then he maxed out. Having a dog with the verbal understanding of a toddler comes in handy sometimes...but rarely, mostly I just wish he could learn to walk on leash.


I have a puppy collie/Shepard mix that is about a year old. Do you have any tips/suggestions? Do you regret getting such a smart dog in general?


If you want to encourage the smart look into clicker training, particularly free shaping[1]. The most well known books are by Karen Pryor. You can train pretty much anything, and get insanely complex including the things this collie was doing.

For a decent introduction (there's a lot of crap on Youtube) this channel gives pretty good info, introductions, and lots of short videos on how to train all sorts of things: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-qnqaajTk6bfs3UZuue6IQ

Be warned, once it starts to work both dog and owner can find it (very) addictive. :)

Most impressive thing? First time seeing my dog stop and think, puzzle it out, then try something different. This is not mindless training by repetition.

[1] Edit: Free shaping is leaving everything to the dog to work out with human just providing helpful carefully timed nudges when he edges closer to the right thing. Before long the dog will start experimenting and look to you for reactions a lot more. It's magic, fast, and you'll transform your view of how smart your mutt is.


A dog's life is pretty boring. There's a lot of laying around, a lot of waiting to eat and go for a walk. A smart dog needs things to do, and it's work for you to make that happen. Talking, TV, computers, work, the things we fill our time with a dog can't participate in. My dog is in perpetual state of disappointment and mopiness, just waiting for the next interesting, stimulating thing to happen. I could train him for hours on end and he'd never get bored, but laying on the floor watching me sit in front of a computer, he can barely contain his boredom.

We had a trainer once who said the hardest thing for a smart dog to do is to just ignore stimuli. You're putting together furniture, cleaning the closet, setting up a stereo, what's that? where does it go? what does it smell like? Is this a game? Can I help?


Genuinely curious - is there any reason why person would potentially prefer a less smart dog? I always thought that, the smarter they are, the better companions they can be, so your comment got me wondering.


The smarter they are, the more they observe and learn. This means they also learn bad or annoying things and it can be very difficult to then train them out of it. A good example is a border collie I know that accidentally broke a screen door, then suddenly learned that all screens can be opened at will and no window was safe.

Smart breeds also need to be kept busy and entertained or they get anxious and angry. They'll start destroying property or fighting with others. If you don't have the time and energy, it's much better to get a less intelligent and mellow dog instead.


On the other hand my toy dog ate through a timber door. (And tried on every door subsequently until we trained him out of it).

The anxiety is enough, it certainly doesn't take (much) brains.


That last bit sounds like my high school experience.


The problem isn't high intelligence per se, it's that high intelligence in dogs also correlates with high energy (this makes sense, most intelligent dogs are sheep herders, like border collies, which were expected to be working most of the day!) and other personality traits that can be less than ideal.

High energy dogs get bored, frustrated, or destructive when not given enough exercise. And a high intelligence just means they're that much more creative in finding ways to amuse themselves (that probably won't amuse you...).

Additionally, part of what makes dogs such amazing companions is their empathy for humans not just intelligence. The current dog of my aunt and uncle is pretty dumb, compared to the previous one. But he loves people, cuddling, and he's super mellow.

He still needs to be walked 3-4 times a day, but not particularly long and he's perfectly happy just chilling and lying next to you all Saturday. That fits much better into less active lives than something high energy that needs to run 10-15 miles a day...


I fostered a very smart dog at one point and came away a bit spooked, honestly. If you were hanging out with someone it didn't trust and said that you were going to the restroom, it would immediately walk into there and wait for you, and it could tell the difference between time concepts like 'soon' and 'later'. We never had any real problems with it, but the sense that it listened, understood, and did not speak back was unsettling.


Dogs differ widely in mentality, behavior, and energy levels. A border collie - for example - requires lots and lots of time and activity. If you haven't got that to offer, both you and your dog are much better off if you pick less demanding breed.


Energy levels are difficult with a smart dog that is less than 3 years old. My border collie has calmed down in the last year, but the first few years she needed 3-5 hours of both mental and physical stimulation daily.


I had a stupid dog (took him months to learn his own name) and now I have a smart dog, and I really miss the dumb one. It was so easy to keep him happy and satisfied and well-adjusted. He loved people and was just happy to lay around all day and then hang out with us when we got home from work. The smart dog requires constant entertainment and interaction to keep him from going insane.


One of the things that was very useful for me was that I got my dog while travelling, and he spent the first couple years of his life in different countries. The whole time I was keenly aware of the difficulties of picking up language, and so I would talk to him like I wanted someone to talk to me in Italian/Spanish/German/Czech...slowly, in simple phrases, using words I know in the present tense.

Just pretend you got picked up by aliens who only communicate via flashing lights. After months you might be able to associate certain light combinations and color are associated with food, with being allowed to use the bathroom, with types of interaction, and if you were really smart you might be able to figure out verbs and simple sentence structure, but those lights need to be flashing slowly and distinctly, and if the aliens start using the same light to mean two different things then you're going to get screwed up. For another species to grasp our language is an incredible thing, something no human has ever done, you have to keep things incredibly simple and teach them as if you were teaching language, not just saying what comes into your head.

My dog is frequently confused when he eaves drops on conversations and hears some one talk, for instance, about a long drive to the beach last year, and he waits at the door excited to go. And I have to think why is he waiting at the door, does have to pee? why is he so excited?


If you hit the NYT paywall, at the very least watch the YouTube video that is linked on the page: https://youtu.be/J982KYWohT8 (it's from 2013)

Yeah, there's some science. But mostly, just an incredibly sweet story. Dr. Pilly, Chaser's owner, died last year at 89. Chaser also lived a long, happy life.


The paywall is easily circumvented by opening a private window.


NYT started blocking incognito windows: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19275283


Is also easily circumvented by deleting all cookies from the site, then reloading, if at end of articles.


I think it's time for HN to replace the now useless 'web' link with one that lets me hide submissions from inaccessible domains.


There's still a trick you can use on Android at least, but it's a little obscure. I'm worried some HN-reading NYT dev will file a JIRA for it if I post though. Play around for yourself, that's how I found it.


I just stick the link into Archive.is


I open them in Brave and it seems to work. Incognito doesn't work for me anymore.


It always works for me in Firefox.


Chaser also has a Wikipedia page [0]. There are also innumerable videos about her on Youtube. Beautiful and intelligent animal that, as her trainer Dr. John Pilley has said, certainly should cause us to view dogs as emotional and intelligent with their own world view.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaser_(dog)


Sad to hear. I have a border collie and it’s amazing how much he trained himself. What’s especially interesting is selective obedience (also common in trained dogs like service animals). He almost always knows what you’re saying, but only listens when he wants too.


Also it's sometimes annoying how much more they understand than you want them to. "Bring the ball to get a treat" turned very quickly into "if you don't have a treat in hand, I'm not going to bring you anything (just walk away a bit, sit on the exact thing you asked for and stare at you)"


Selective disobedience in service animals is different than what you’re describing. That’s when a dog chooses to ignore commands it knows are dangerous - not just when it feels like it.


You're right, I'm talking about the general concept of the dog making the decision to follow or not. For example, my dog will ignore me completely if he knows it's going to lead to a bath.

He clearly has determined what the outcome will be and decided not to do it, which is really interesting to watch, and very surprising the first time it happened.


haha. my dog is trained to only sit and wait, but I’ve got this nagging feeling he understands almost anything I tell him and just chooses to ignore me most of the time.


I think most cats are the same way. I trained my Siamese cat to do some classic dog tricks like sit, shake, roll over, etc, and he picked them up without much trouble. That said, he's got to be in the mood to listen or it's like I'm not even talking.


hah. my dog will perform the said tricks if food is involved. if no food... it's anyone's guess what's going to happen.


I hope the publicity surrounding Chaser's passing doesn't inspire unprepared individuals to go out and get a border collie. They are arguably the smartest dog breed and that intelligence is accompanied with a continual need for stimulation that being locked up in a house or, worse yet, an apartment can't provide [0]. A toy lap breed they are not.

[0] http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/border-collie#1_izc4ixoo


True.

I had an English Shepherd, which is a closely related breed, also very smart, and has significantly less need for constant stimulation than border collies. I can't say enough good things about English Shepherds. Still needs exercise and stimulation, just not to the extreme degree of border collies.

http://www.karmatics.com/kyrapics/


I hope people consider even deeper that animals with less intelligence have motivation, fear and a variety of feelings in their consciousness. And that they deserve respect simply by virtue of their existence.


I don't see anyone arguing otherwise? pseudolus' point is that Border Collies are mostly not good pets, and terrible first dogs. If you want to do agility or flyball or something active for an hour a day, they excel, and you'll both be very happy...

It's having an animal bred for this in your house: https://youtu.be/hxMsVbFr1Bc?t=15


I've wanted one for years, but I'm just not in a place where I can properly care for them. I don't even think I can handle a less intelligent dog, since my spare time is taken up with hobbies, my spouse, and my young children, none of which want to consistently care for a dog.

I think far too many people aren't aware of just how much work taking good care of a dog is. I'm grateful for some co-workers that explained the time needed to properly care for a dog, which helped me realize it wasn't going to be a good fit for me.


A dog's intelligence doesn't have much relationship to how much you have to care for it. In fact, smart dogs are often more work because they can be destructive when bored. They can also be very good at escaping, stealing, or pestering you.

It's easy to go to a shelter and find a dog that's 2+ years old with a known history of being safe around kids. Whether or not it's intelligent, you can select it for appearance and ease of care.


True this, and their idea of stimulation isn't necessarily like other dogs. We live on 7 acres and our old dog (who was part collie, but not full) could amuse herself for a long time just sniffing and exploring, even by herself. And we had to get a electrified collar system to keep her on the property.

Our BC on the other hand has no desire to be outside without us, does not want to leave the property, and will follow you around constantly hoping you pick up a ball or frisbee. No interest in other dogs, just people. And she'll ignore food and treats completely if there's an object to chase or a puzzle to solve.


We had one growing up, she was lovely but a complete handful, basically trained herself though, fetch took about a minute for her to figure out.

She used to fetch her bowl and whack your knee if you had tea and she wanted some, runt of the litter (though she grew up normal size) and endless energy.


They're amazing dogs, but like many of the more intelligent breeds do not like being bored, ignored or neglected, and Collies especially so. So if you think of getting one expect it to take about as much work and time as a small child.


I have a huge-mixed-80lb-border collie mutt and I'm grateful that I get to work from home. She likes to play hide and seek with toys and go for walks all day.

My point is that working from home rules, I suppose.


An interesting book that discusses the ethics of keeping pets in general:

"Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets" by Jessica Pierce

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/022620989X


Had a Scottish Border Collie, was a fantastic dog. I remember the first week after I got my dog we took him near a field and the instinct immediately kicked in when he saw the sheep. Straight to the ground, eyes giving the wolf stare and ears alert.

Taught my dog to count to 4 with visual cues (fingers or chews).

Would love another Collie but sadly most work places in the UK aren't dog friendly.


I have both a BC and a dog friendly workplace (Google). But I wouldn't dream of bringing her to work. Workplaces are for sedate dogs that are fine with lying around and doing nothing while the owner works.

Our BC spends all her waking hours looking for a job, and her wakefulness and energy is so much more intense than any other dog I've had. Makes sense for a breed that had to walk/run for effectively dozens of miles a day while herding.


I have a 15yo Aussie. I think he's finally at the point where I can bring him into an office. He's mostly blind and going deaf so his eternal vigilance isn't too disruptive anymore.


Dogs have been bred for everything else - I wonder how breeding dogs for intelligence would work out.


Others mentioned a couple of breeds that are generally known as smarter than usual; I'd add Catahoula to that list too. They're not as concerned about human's opinions of how they're doing their jobs as some others; they're doing the job, not waiting for the human's approval for having done it.

One of ours can reliably tell time from analog wall clocks. It's her job to put our daughter to bed on time, and she does, understanding school nights, weekends, and summer vacation all make circumstances different. We figure she's reading the clock because she's not confident about the DST change if we miss resetting those.


Can you explain more about this? What does putting your daughter to bed look like??

It sounds crazy!


She was a puppy when our daughter was younger, her bed was beside the little girls bed, with a ritual of reading a story. Settle in hound, give her blanket, settle in child, give her blanket, read a bit, goodnight. Wonderful to see.

Little hound grew and is polite but insistent on the fact that there is still a bedtime, even though it is later now and daughter no longer needs someone to sleep beside her all night.

https://knitowl.blogspot.com/2016/12/our-catahoula-schedule-...


It's been tried, perhaps indirectly. There was one kennel that got quite famous for breeding police dogs using the best workers - both drug spaniels and German Shepherds. That was shortly after WW2, but by the sixties and seventies they were first choice for about half a dozen or more police forces, including the Met.

No idea if they're still going, but I haven't heard anything of them for ages.


Belgian Malinois as well, similar breed bit lighter but incredbily fast, agile and smart, used by militaries around the world.


Aye, it was more that for a spell their shepherds were first choice for many forces over anyone else's shepherds, anywhere, and they had a permanent waiting list.

Can't, for the life of me, remember the name of the kennel though.

Malis seem to be becoming more popular as police dogs too, as there's so many hip problems in shepherds.


The hip problems where a result of breeding for showing sadly, older dogs of the breeds had much few fewer problems.

I personally think it’s tragic that we selectively breed breeds into those kinds of problems for aesthetics.


Couldn't agree more, it's horrible, and borders on abusive given the problems that result in many breeds. Show German Shepherds currently look horribly broken, like someone reassembled a kit wrong. When we got ours we found a kennel that had "English" German Shepherds - flat back like a shepherd would be if you saw photos from the 40s or 60s.

Far too clever for his own good that dog, I miss him.


I remembered. Search "olderhill german shepherds" or "ann butler shepherds" for a selection of sites. Looks like there's a few kennels offering a continuation of those dogs, but no one actually continuing the process of bringing the best workers back for breeding.

This seems to have the most history: https://olderhill.webnode.com/history-of-the-olderhills/


Not military or enforcement, but well-known, and published: https://newskete.org/dog-training


Haven't lots of breeds been bred for intelligence, long before modern police/military dogs?


Working breeds are, by and large.

Moreover, most animals are smarter than people assume.


There's a video of the dog with Neil Degrasse where she's fetching objects he asks her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omaHv5sxiFI


A stray border collie came home with me one day while I was biking around the woods. She was easily the smartest dog I've ever owned and I've owned many.

She knew when to be emotionally available, she understood body language and speech so well. A fantastic riding companion that knew how to pace herself for miles.

Not a very good mother, though. Her entire brood was eaten by coyotes over a couple of weeks.

I'm highly considering getting another border collie when the time comes for a new dog... if so I'll definitely be trying to push her like Chaser.


60 minutes did a news piece on Chaser. It's worth the time to view.

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/chaser-smartest-dog-in-world-6...

I've had a couple of dogs as pets in my lifetime and I think they are way smarter than what we give them credit for.


I have two Australian shepherds - One of them was a puppy when I read the book about Chaser. So I decide to try to sort-of reproduce some of the author's experiments with my dog - and I'll be damned if it didn't work.

I didn't go to near the extent of the training John Pilley did with Chaser, but I did do the verbal only approach and put the toys in another room - and I was able to teach him to retrieve probably 5 or 10 toys by name. I was really amazed. I didn't do nearly as much training with the second Aussie - but she picked up on the whole game even quicker than the first dog (because she had a role model?).

Another thing I learned about this game/training : it really wears the dog out. After 20 or so minutes of playing "go find the toy" they dogs lay down for a nap.

(ps. doing "nose-work" games with dogs also wears them out)


Aw, that's sad, we watched videos of this dog not long after we got our own border collie puppy some months ago.

Then we tried in vain to get our dog to make word/object associations like this dog. No luck.

Yes, BCs are smart. But that particular BC was really really smart. I hope its genetics live on in some lineage somewhere.


YOu can't stereotype by breed as much as people think.

I remember seeing some study about a dog IQ test (something like an oversized obstacle course in a barn -- but a legitimate study) and iirc Border Collies were the main subjects, and the IQ curve was basically a standard distribution, there were lots of dumb and average Border Collies, and only a handful of "highly intelligent" ones.


I'll try not come off as snide but I have to wonder what types of ailments Border Collies are prone to due to the inevitable inbreeding that every AKC dog has--hey they gotta look pretty in the ring.

* Our German Short Hair Pointer had seizures which in time led to him having to be put down; despite having him treated at the Animal Medical Center in NYC amongst other places.

* Our English Cocker Spaniel (a found dog that was living on the street) had terrible dermatitis which caused him to lose much fur and I'm pretty sure was no fun him.

* Our Yorkshire Terrier had kidney disease, also with seizures, though much less common than the Pointer's until later in his life; he too eventually had to be put down due to kidney disease.

That was it for the pure breeds, I told my partner next dog get a mutt. Indeed she did, and he seems like a good dog so far--smart and happy.


>I have to wonder what types of ailments Border Collies are prone to due to the inevitable inbreeding

The Wikipedia's page about Border Collies has a section about their common health problems:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Collie#Common_health_pr...


I think your comment is a little off target with border collies to some degree. Of all the pure breds (and I also have problems with 'pure breeding' to some degree) they are probably the least like what you are calling out here.

All the other breeds you mentioned are bred for looks. Border collies are bred for behaviour. The definition of a collie is fundamentally personality and behaviour traits, not a look.

There is a wide variation in the physical profile of border collies. Size, colouring, physical comportment, etc. Ours is completely black, others are black and white, or grey, etc. Ours is under 30lbs, some get to be 40 or 50.

I've always preferred mutts, but our dog before our BC was a mutt, a rescue, some sort of a collie cross. Her health problems were numerous: hip dysplasia, pancreatitis, and she died at 6 from lymphoma. She got dealt a bad set of cards. Poor lovely soul.

But our BC in contrast is the measure of health. Extremely vital. But I still miss the old dog :-(


"Show lines" for Border collies have been long opposed by those who work Border collies, fearing inbreeding and health problems.

Unfortunately, when things become popular (who wouldn't want the "smartest" dog?) they become lucrative, and the "working dog" heritage that protected them from genetic deficiencies now became a point of sale for them, leading to the inevitable inbreeding.

Whereas before what constituted a Border collie was general physical ability and endurance combined with "the eye", now many regions have show standards for Border collies as well.

So, simply getting a Border collie is no longer a guaranteed way to get away from the "pure breed" mentality and all the problems associated with it.


That's unfortunate, and I guess we got lucky with our dog then. We have never had a pure-bred dog before, so it was kind of interesting to get her ancestry information from the border collie association, and see that her ancestors were Welsh herding dogs just a few generations back.

They're really lovely dogs, in personality. A challenge, to be sure, but she has such a strong desire to please and work hard.


There is the International Sheep Dog Society which registers dogs filtering out some genetic conditions and allows new registrations by passing a sheep herding trial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Sheep_Dog_Societ...


Your attempt to not come across as snide unfortunately didn't land. What on Earth does your little soapbox rant on purebreds have to do with the article? The dog was smart as fuck and lived a long life to 15.


Would you please not break the site guidelines, regardless of how annoying another comment is? We've had to ask you this before.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Dogs are happy no matter what. Poor things can lose their sight, hearing or/and ability to walk but they would still hapily wiggle their tails when pet

Most "cute" dogs out there are deformities that are breeded into a race

RaceWon 8 months ago [flagged]

> your little soapbox rant on purebreds

I'm soo sorry if my obvious point was over your fucking head. Here's an article for the more enlightened members who might actually be interested in alleviating the suffering of dogs--which are freakin awesome animals.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/although-purebred...


Personal attacks will get you banned here, regardless of how provocative another comment was. Would you mind reviewing the site guidelines and using HN as intended? We'd be grateful.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html



15 years is the upper threshold for border collies. RIP.


15 years is on the high side of average, but not an upper limit by any means. 20-year-old Border Collies aren't unheard of, and the world record is nearly 28 years.


The median is 10 to 14 years.


world record of 28 years, documented where?


27 years old, actually, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. See “Bramble” at [0].

[0]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_dogs



Also paywalled, but useful because a lot of people who have maxed out their NYT limit won't have hit it here.




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