Dogs may be known as man’s best friend, but just know they have a shady side they’ve been hiding all this time.
On Reddit, poster Jthundercleese posted in the r/dogs community about how he saw his doggo trick his little dog bud firsthand. The original poster’s dog (we’ll call him OP Dog) was frolicking in the dog park with his dog friend, “Richard” (dog names have been changed to protect the innocent), and OP Dog snagged The Ball, which is the most popular dog toy at the park. In the chaos of playing chase with a bunch of other dogs, OP Dog lost track of the toy only to discover Richard had grabbed it.
OP Dog apparently didn’t miss a beat and decided to flex his acting chops. After putting his “thinking face” on, OP Dog “does a quick visual sweep and grabs the nearest stick.” The poster continued that “while keeping an eye on and staying close to Richard, who now has the popular Ball, my guy starts tossing the stick, bouncing and playing super dramatically with this stick; it's not how he plays with toys at all.”
Apparently OP Dog is all about the chase and tug, not the bounce. Richard, totally falling for this Academy Award-winning performance, drops The Ball. OP Dog promptly swoops in, takes The Ball back and takes off. Poor, sweet, dumb Richard is left with nothing but a stick, to which the OP says, “Did my dog just f---in' lie to Richard?”
People replied back to the OP that his dog should go into marketing because of the way he “sold” the stick to Richard. “Bark n Switch!” another commenter quipped.
Others agreed that they have seen the same tricky behavior in their pups. User mrspetie replied that with her dogs, “If the other has a toy or stick they want, they’ll look out the window and excitedly bark. When the other drops what they’re doing to join the barking, then the big fat liar dog immediately goes in for the toy. It’s so funny to watch those gears turning.”
Even more shared stories of their dogs using trickery to steal the best spots on the couch or fake getting into trouble so their owner would investigate, after which the dog would then snatch their owner’s food. It’s official: Dogs are 100 percent smarter than we give them credit for.
Turns out, there’s science to back this up, too. Researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland not only observed dogs pretending something cool was happening in the yard to get another dog to give up a preferred sleeping spot, but they also learned very quickly to trick humans. They paired dogs with their owner and two other humans, one who was cooperative and shared food and one who kept the food for themselves. Out of three snacks -- a juicy sausage, a dry biscuit and nothing, the dog learned to lead the cooperative human to the sausage. They quickly learned to steer the competitive human to the empty box. Suckers!
It honestly makes you wonder if dogs have been playing us this entire time. You might want to view your dog with a little extra suspicion from now on. We could all be poor Richard, wowed by a stick when there's an even better ball, right around the corner!