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Chaser: The Gift for Dog Lovers Who Love to Read

I confess that when I was asked to review the book, Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words, I expected a hard-to-read diatribe by yet another blowhard telling me how his dog is better than mine. After all, the media have dubbed Chaser the “world’s smartest dog.”

I could not have been more wrong. 


I fell in love with Professor Pilley and his family from the very start. I’m sure that’s partly to do with the expert writing skills of Hilary Hinzmann, who co-authored the book.

But this book also sucked me in because, while I realized I know next to nothing about dogs compared to Professor Pilley, he never made me feel like my dog was dumb compared to Chaser. To the contrary, I felt like he was telling me that every dog was just as smart as his, and that it’s us humans that should take the time to learn to more fully communicate with our best friends.

© Dana Cubbage Pet Photography

© Dana Cubbage Pet Photography

Chaser flows well, sometimes makes you smile, and will make you cry a time or two.

For those of us who dig research, you will get what you’re looking for here.

But for those of us dog lovers who aren’t numbers geeks, you’ll love this book too.

I picked up some useful information for working with Rumpy.

Spoiler alert: This guy really digs breeders. Responsible ones. I don’t agree with that part. But Chaser isn’t any smarter than your dog because she came from a breeder.

Bottom line is this: I fully recommend this book. Buy it for every dog lover on your holiday shopping list. Check it out from the library and treat yourself to a great, feel-good read.

Just read it already. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a paperback copy of Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The photos used in this post were provided by HMHCO and are used with permission. The thoughts about the book are my own. 

About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


16 thoughts on “Chaser: The Gift for Dog Lovers Who Love to Read

  1. Reblogged this on cgw629 and commented:
    Great Book Review by Great Blogger.

    Posted by cgw629 | December 11, 2014, 6:34 AM
  2. Lovely, Lovely, Review Jen and Rumpydog.

    Posted by cgw629 | December 11, 2014, 6:35 AM
  3. OoooH! I’m now so interested to read this book, so have to get the one for my holiday! Thank you very much for your review!

    Posted by eripanwkevin | December 11, 2014, 8:35 AM
  4. I have heard of this book!
    It does sound like a great read. Like you, when I heard about it before, I never really thought much about it, wasn’t sure what it would be like, so thanks for this review!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    Posted by Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady | December 11, 2014, 10:31 AM
  5. Lovely review. I’m putting that on my list now!


    Posted by hutchagoodlife | December 11, 2014, 10:49 AM
  6. This book recently arrived in our library and I’ve hesitated to pick it up with some of the same misgivings you had. I guess I’ll give it a try based on your recommendation.

    I have seen videos of Chaser and he looks like he’s having a blast.

    Posted by somethingwagging | December 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
  7. Scotties know very few words. It would only make me feel terrible to know that there are dogs that are so smart and I don’t own that breed.

    Posted by corkscot | December 11, 2014, 6:32 PM
  8. Fun! I saw Chaser on 60 Minutes. He was amazing! Mom said I need to step up my game.

    Love and licks,

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | December 11, 2014, 8:55 PM

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