As a dog lover, it is natural to love the charm of this video, but as a dog trainer, my focus is on the beauty of seeing a dog perform a series of tricks so well. Naturally, I don’t know how many takes it took to acquire the footage to put this video together, but I choose not to dwell on that. Clearly, this is a well-trained dog with a large repertoire of behaviors that he can do on cue. While many viewers probably see a story of a dog preparing for Santa’s visit and waiting for him to arrive, I noticed each specific trick that the dog performed.
In a little over a minute of film, this dog carried a stocking in his mouth, hung it on a hook, re-entered his dog house, pushed a plate of cookies along the ground with his nose, pushed a glass of milk out the door, walked to his mark, assumed a begging posture, barked, lay down, rested his head on his paws, ate a cookie that he had been leaving alone until then, reclined on his side, feigned sleep and held a solid stay when Santa placed his present right next to him. That is 15 distinct skills, all performed with a believability that brought the story alive.
This video showcases what a lot of practice by a skilled trainer with a talented dog can accomplish, but it’s more fun to think of it as a Christmas miracle.