Smart Wee Dog Can’t Be Tricked by Its Owner’s Magic Trick

The pup impressively always selects the right cup.
Fabienne Lang
The dog selecting the right shell Cleanpolis/Rumble

Magic tricks aren't for everyone. Even as a functioning, mature, and educated adult, you might still not figure out magic tricks that happen right under your nose. And it can be infuriating.

It's even more infuriating when a dog—yes, a dog—can figure out a seemingly simple magic trick without missing a beat. A video posted on Rumble last week has caught the attention of tens of thousands of people as the owner of a little dog uses the shell game trick on it, and it always guesses correctly. 

You can ever hear the amazement in the owner's voice as his dog keeps picking the right cups, yet the dog itself seems almost disinterested.


Genius dog or simple luck?

It's hard to tell how the dog in the video guesses where the hidden cube is. Is it truly as smart as it seems? Or is there something else going on here? 

To break it down, the shell trick is a magic trick that many magicians or entertainers use. It's a simple guessing game where the magician places a small trinket beneath one of three cups (or walnut shells—as the original name of the game goes) and switches these cups around in a mind-boggling way. You then have to guess under which cup the trinket is now hidden.

Could smell be the indicator?

One potential explanation for the dog finding the hidden cube so easily might be if the cube is scented, which would make almost any dog be able to sniff it out and guess where it's hidden. That said, in the Rumble video, the dog doesn't sniff around at all. It simply nonchalantly places its paw on the correct cup. 

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