now you smell it... now you don't!
March 21, 2014 10:00 PM   Subscribe

Magic for Dogs by Jose Ahonen
posted by moonmilk (48 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

Is there a corresponding video of the doggies actually getting a treat for their cutely confused troubles?
posted by Mizu at 10:14 PM on March 21 [11 favorites]

That's... Kinda slick. My cats can figure out a clever ruse pretty quick regarding a treat because of the whole smell issue. I have no idea how the guy is managing to magic that away without the dog sniffing the problem out.
posted by ThrowbackDave at 10:20 PM on March 21

It's not often these days that you hear someone get actual musical use out of a slide whistle.
posted by JHarris at 10:25 PM on March 21 [4 favorites]

Poor doggies :-) Are they looking at their owners to the side going, "Hey mom/dad what's going on here?".
posted by viramamunivar at 10:25 PM on March 21

Salli was having none of it.
posted by merelyglib at 10:39 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]

Salli was having none of it.

so confuse

where is treat now?

odd man is much strange

must warn
posted by mcmile at 10:53 PM on March 21 [31 favorites]

See what happens when the trick is performed with the dog facing north.
posted by stbalbach at 10:55 PM on March 21 [10 favorites]

I love when some of the dogs immediately look into the magician's face, then at the humans standing by, and then back to the magician.

I also love how Sälli expresses distrust/suspicion, which seems to accelerate Sälli’s feelings when the humans start to laugh.
posted by mistersquid at 11:32 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]

My dog thinks this is kind of mean.

(But I think it's hilarious.)
posted by trip and a half at 11:34 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]

This is the greatest thing on the Internet today. I don't often laugh at the "funny" videos people post, but this one is exceptional. Thanks.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:39 PM on March 21

Interesting how each dog reacts so differently. And I would've figured more of them would impatiently bark as if to say "Bring it back!" Instead, most freak out and are completely mind boggled.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:45 PM on March 21

Heh, as someone who does magic tricks and has dogs, I've done this quite a bit!

I figured that they'd instantly get it because of the smell - but no, it seems not. I do make a point of rubbing my fingers on the treat as I display it so they still smell of treat.

I was very surprised because the classic magic rule is that you can't really do tricks for kids under about three - because their sense of story isn't so well developed yet, so they don't get fooled by your gestures.

But no, they're fooled every time, and run around looking for it, much like these videos.

What's interesting is that "pulling the treat out from behind their ear" doesn't get much reaction other than, "A treat."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:46 PM on March 21 [14 favorites]

Reminds me a bit of this clip of a chimp being introduced to magic. Seemed maybe a little bit mean, as he's getting kinda teased a bit with treats, but he certainly seems to enjoy the show.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:15 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]

Can't see the chimp video on mobile. But I can see the suggested "Humanzee : Documentary on Stalin's Experimentation to Create and Army of Ape-Men."
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:59 AM on March 22 [5 favorites]

That gives new meaning to one of my favorite idioms: "like a dog being shown a magic trick."
posted by dogheart at 1:20 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]

We are not certain (at least her right side isn't certain, her left side still thinks there may be a treat (and, yes, that's one picture split in half...)) that we like this guy much!!!!

I do the treat in one hand thing with the pup all the time. I'll take a treat, show it to her, put my hands behind my back and bring them both out closed and hold my fists in front of me. She has to use her paw and tap the correct hand to get the treat.... You would think that the sniffer would give her a clue and she would usually choose the correct hand.. Ironically, that doesn't hold true. I estimate her success rate (choosing the right hand the first try) is about 40%.... What I can't figure out is why it isn't at least 50%... strange dog.
posted by HuronBob at 3:01 AM on March 22 [4 favorites]

posted by PenDevil at 3:30 AM on March 22

Them there are some very good names for dogs.
posted by michswiss at 4:13 AM on March 22 [6 favorites]

You don't need to be a magician to get this effect (at least if you have a dog that likes to play fetch). One of my favorite things to do with my parents' dog is to take whatever toy we're playing fetch with and pretend to give it a good throw, but then sit on it while he's still running toward where he expects it to land. He'll search for as long as I can bear to let him, looking in ever-more-implausible places, running up to different family members to ask them if they have the toy, and overall just looking incredibly confused. I have no idea if he would ever give up, because I always break down and throw it for real after a few minutes at most; it's hilarious, but it's also pretty pathetic.
posted by Scientist at 5:24 AM on March 22 [7 favorites]

Is that the treat dangling from a string, around 1:20?

Regardless this is CHARMING.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:26 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

Like HuronBob, I used to do the "guess which hand" thing with my dog. He would solve the problem by shoving his pointy little nose into my closed fist until he got the treat.
posted by moonmilk at 5:34 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]

I love how breed traits/temperaments are on full display in the different reactions: it's basically asking "When in doubt, _________" and you get reactions that include the rotti's "When in doubt, lick some face" to the GSD's "When in doubt, ask for further instructions" to the shiba's "When in doubt, be suspicious and bark."
posted by drlith at 6:03 AM on March 22 [12 favorites]

posted by Quilford at 6:04 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]

hmmm can I get askme to break the magicians code
posted by Quilford at 6:05 AM on March 22

One neat animal-behavior sort of thing that I've observed anecdotally in a lot of dogs and which you can see in this video is that when you pull a trick like this on them, they use an expanding search pattern to try to find what they're looking for. They start by looking for the object where they were first expecting it, then in the immediate vicinity, and then begin to wander further and further afield to the point where they are searching places where the object cannot possibly be.

It's a bit like how when you lose your keys you first look in the place where you think they ought to be (in your pants pocket) and then in all the places where you commonly leave them (your jacket pocket, the car, the kitchen table, etc.) but then eventually, if you are desperate enough to find them, you end up looking in old shoeboxes and behind the toilet and in the trashcan – all the while becoming both less hopeful and more agitated. And then eventually it turns out that they were actually in your pants pocket all along and you feel like an idiot.
posted by Scientist at 6:23 AM on March 22 [12 favorites]

That german shepherd knew it was a trick he was just too polite to let on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:30 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

Why are all these dogs named after IKEA products?
posted by nev at 7:07 AM on March 22 [10 favorites]

One neat animal-behavior sort of thing that I've observed anecdotally in a lot of dogs and which you can see in this video is that when you pull a trick like this on them, they use an expanding search pattern to try to find what they're looking for.

It's clear that one of these stages is pausing the futile search to check in with the human: "Are you fucking with me? Is this some of that crazy two-legs bullshit?" And then to the rest of the studio: "Is he fucking with me? Am I missing something?"
posted by CaseyB at 7:39 AM on March 22 [14 favorites]

Interestingly, "checking in with humans" is one of the key behavioral differentiators between dogs and (tame) wolves:
"...after undergoing training to solve a simple manipulation task, dogs that are faced with an insoluble version of the same problem look/gaze at the human, while socialized wolves do not. Based on these observations, we suggest that the key difference between dog and wolf behavior is the dogs' ability to look at the human's face." - A simple reason for a big difference: wolves do not look back at humans, but dogs do.
posted by nev at 7:45 AM on March 22 [9 favorites]

I also expected more barking. If I was a dog and you did this to me I'd be all 'THIS. IS. BULLCRAP. JERK. SUCH GRATE INJUSTIS.'
posted by Trivia Newton John at 8:00 AM on March 22

I think Narrative Priorities has it figured out: The treat is tied to a string, and disappears up his sleeve when he extends his arms.

Our dogs do the opposite. My favorite burger joint has a cookie jar full of crunchy bones on the counter and I always grab a couple and shove them in my pocket. I've usually forgotten about them by the time I get home, but the dogs meet me at the door and instantly KNOW the crunchy bones are in my pocket. I don't know it they recognize the cups or if they smell the burger joint on my clothes or what, but it's uncanny.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:04 AM on March 22 [4 favorites]

I love when you can see their tiny little brains working. The range of reactions is really fun too. Some seem completely befuddled ("I just saw it! It has to be here!"); the GSD is all "Bitch please."
posted by Fig at 8:24 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]

I'm impressed by how many of them jump quite quickly to the conclusion "it must have fallen on the floor." Because that's where treats go if they're not in a hand anymore, right?
posted by vytae at 8:59 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]

I like how they all understand gravity. They all check the ground. "Must've fell..."
posted by Trochanter at 9:10 AM on March 22 [7 favorites]

Such clear thinking pattern on the part of many of the dogs. "Did it fall? Is it in my fur somewhere? On the floor? Where's the treat?? HUMAN! OTHER HUMANS! WHAT THE FUCK, GUYS??"
posted by rmd1023 at 12:56 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]

This is all funny, yes, but I can't help but notice we're actually seeing how dogs' minds work when confronted with the unknown, and that it's rather similar to what humans might do if they've never heard of magic tricks before.
posted by JHarris at 1:58 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]

I would enjoy seeing more of each dog's reaction, as they try to figure out what to do next to solve the problem of the missing treat. I'd expect a lot of this is also based on past experience of How Get Cookie: a dog accustomed to food-based obedience training might roll through their repertoire of tricks, while another dog who gets food with affection might swarm the man.
posted by cmyk at 3:38 PM on March 22 [2 favorites] the shiba's "When in doubt, be suspicious and bark."

I believe that is a Finnish Spitz rather than a Shiba Inu but, both being smaller spitz breeds, have a lot in common.
posted by VTX at 4:33 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

it's rather similar to what humans might do if they've never heard of magic tricks before.

We humans are so much more advanced.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:51 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]

I love how German Shepherds always look like they're on the job. The one in the video quickly looked sharply at the other people in the room all, "really? this is a waste of my time. I need to get back to my checklist."
posted by sweetkid at 5:18 PM on March 22 [6 favorites]

Now I'm wondering what would happen if someone tried this with Allie Broshs Simple Dog....
posted by JHarris at 5:32 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]

posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:54 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]

△? △???
posted by JHarris at 6:03 PM on March 22 [7 favorites]

I love how the chimpanzee keeps hugging the humans every time a magic trick defies her/his expectations.

As one YouTuber commented: so KAWAIIIIIIIII!
posted by mistersquid at 8:29 PM on March 22

Ahhh okay I totes did this guys. Two rubber bands and a doggie treat. Cut one of the rubber bands so it forms an elastic string, tie one end to the whole rubber band and the other to a doggie treat, then put the whole rubber band around your elbow. Wear something with large baggy sleeves. Then when you hold the doggie treat out and let go the rubber band string snaps it up your arm. For best results, let go just when the dog is about to start nibbling.

For what it's worth, my dog looked at the ground, had a sniffabout, then licked my treaty fingers. N'aww. Then I gave her an earscritches
posted by Quilford at 11:00 PM on March 22 [4 favorites]

Salli's "What sorcery is this?!" face makes me think she will shortly be appointing herself Dog Witchfinder General.
posted by Erasmouse at 11:34 AM on March 23

« Older The Mailman School of Public Health and...   |   Best in Something Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments