Anyone who’s ever lived with a dog knows how smart they can be. We’re not just talking learning how to shake on command, but rather, the behaviors they seem to pick up to learn how to manipulate people — or other animals — in the household into doing exactly what they want.
They learn what they need to do to get treats, to reclaim their favorite spot on the couch if it’s already occupied, or, of course, to get you to stop whatever you’re doing and give them belly rubs right then and there. Sometimes the tactics are simple, other times, they leave you scratching your head wondering just how much is going on in those dog brains that we will never comprehend.
One dog lover recently experienced the latter after taking his dog to the park and witnessing him appear to manipulate another dog out of the toy he wanted.
Redditor u/Jthundercleese shared his story in r/dogs, hoping to get input from other fans of furry fiends to help make sense of what he saw.
“So we’re at the dog park (pre-covid) and there’s this pretty popular ball that a few dogs, including mine, seem to really like,” he writes. “So my guy has it for a little while, they’re all running around, and he ends up losing it and it gets snagged by one of the dogs playing with them. We’ll call this other dog Richard.”
The original poster’s dog wasn’t too thrilled with losing his favorite toy, and that’s when a plan seemed to form.
“My dog stops. I can see his ears perked forward, brow wrinkled; it’s his thinking expression. He does a quick visual sweep and grabs the nearest stick.
“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. He likes to chase and tug, and not much else.”
Seeing OP’s pup so fascinated by the stick, Richard was soon swayed into switching toys.
“After 20 seconds of this act, Richard with the popular ball takes notice of this apparently fantastic new toy, drops the ball, AND MY GUY BOLTS AND SNAGS THE POPULAR BALL with zero hesitation, leaving this formerly lucky dog with nothing but a lame stick that none of them actually wanted.
“Did my dog just f—kin lie to Richard?”
Other users commended Jthundercleese’s crafty canine for his apparent killer instinct when it comes to getting what he wants.
And the puns alone were worth the whole story.
Others helpfully shared stories of their dogs nailing similar feats.
We always think of cats as the schemers among pets, but maybe it’s time to start keeping a closer eye on man’s best friend. These dastardly dogs might take over the house if we’re not vigilant about their manipulations. Aw, who are we kidding? They already have.