Bizarrely intelligent beagle steals chicken from oven while owner’s away (video)

It’s an amazing video of a brilliant dog, and at the same time I have to wonder about any dog owner who thinks it’s “cute” that their dog would stick its head and paw into a 350°F oven.

I’m also not convinced that someone didn’t teach that dog how to move the chair.  That’s a bit of toolwork that seems more fit for monkeys than dogs.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • doug105

    may have had food come up missing so set a camera ?

  • Aye, I think with our spaniel, I learned the difference between training a dog and educating one. Smart dogs you can educate, and they can learn very complicated things, such as “okay to be here now, not okay to be here then.” Or, as we were surprised to discover, wrapping paper meant a present to be received later, and although he was free to check it out, he wasn’t to take it beforehand. (I think he really thought we were all family, and since we didn’t open our Xmas presents early, he accepted that was what he should do, too.) We used to joke that if he ever figured out how to work a doorknob, we’d become obsolete to him. (And yes, I know there are helper dogs who actually can work doorknobs.)

    Other just don’t get nuance or generalizaton, like the black lab who got confused by two types of doors in the same place; those ones there’s no hope but to try to train ’em.

  • My beagle is on the tree stump end of the spectrum. I tell people he’s part beagle, part brick. He’ll do pretty much anything for food, as long as it doesn’t take more than about 12 seconds of attention span. Beyond that, his nose has led him off someplace else.

  • Zorba

    No kidding, Bec. We’ve always had Standard Poodles, because Mr. Zorba has allergies, and he prefers larger dogs.
    They are incredibly smart. You think you have them trained, but really, they train you.
    I thought I had our first poodle trained not to go upstairs, where the bedrooms are, but to stay down on the first floor. And as far as I knew, she always did so. But one day, I came home, and I must have been quieter than usual, or she was very, very tired and sleeping heavily, because I went upstairs, and there she was, sleeping peacefully on our bed. She did then wake up, looked guilty (yes, dogs can look guilty), and went down the stairs without a word from me. But I’m sure that she did sleep up there many times after that. And it’s hard to tell where a poodle has been, because they don’t shed.
    I still don’t know how she managed not to rumple the bedclothes. ;-)

  • Also, he seemed to know to use his claws to rake out the oven tray, and to do it fast.

  • Some dogs are just that clever. Some, alas, are dumb as tree stumps. In my life, I’ve known dogs of both types and everywhere in between.

    My family once had a tool-using dog. We were trying to train him to stay out of certain rooms by laying mouse traps across the floor in front of the doorways to them. One day, he accidentally bumped my brother’s skateboard, making it roll forward and setting off one of the mouse traps. After staring at it for what seemed like a minute, this dog rolled the skateboard back, and through experimentation, used it to set off the rest of the traps. When done, he came into the living room and presented himself for a reward. He loved potato chips…and after that performance, how could I refuse? Thereafter, the mousetrap gambit was useless, because he soon figured out he could just drop things on them. Eventually, we reached the only compromise we could with a too-clever dog: He knew he wasn’t allowed in those rooms when we were there to see him, but the rest of the time he pretty much when wherever he liked. And we knew this because very occasionally we’d catch him vacating those rooms.

    This dog, a spaniel by the way, also loved Christmas, and was the only dog I ever knew who ‘got’ the concept of delayed gratification. We’d put his presents under the tree — chew toys, rawhide knots and so on. He knew which ones were his because he’d check them out now and then. Come Christmas morning, we’d tell him to go ahead. He’d grab his presents, one at a time, and have a grand time tearing off the wrapping paper. Although sometimes we’d have to help with any plastic, but he was cool with it.

    But other dogs my family had? My god, some of them were literally untrainably stupid. We felt lucky to manage house-breaking for one of them — and even that took way longer than it should have because the moron could not comprehend that a closed back door and a screen/storm door were the same exit.

  • Indigo

    Dogs rule!

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Go read the comments at YouTube. The creator of the video clearly explains they had caught the dog engaging in this activity, so he set the dog up with some chicken bits and a hidden camera to record it.

  • We had a flying Cocker named Harry Hound that specialized in kitchen counter tops and managed to carry off a roast chicken in his prime. Somehow he always managed to lick the frosting off a cake if it was to close on the sideboard.

  • Sameboat1

    I’m guessing they were just warming it.

  • Sameboat1

    If you have a beagle, you know that’s right. The little tricksters!

  • AdmNaismith

    Dogs are just that smart.

    I have a dachshund that will climb up on the table if all the chairs are not pushed in. When all the chairs are pushed, in he will pull on the tablecloth. Thankfully, I’m still waiting to see them push the chairs around.

  • She said over in the comments at youtube that they set it up to try to catch the dog in the act, as they saw it once go into the oven on its own. That’s all the more reason I was disturbed by the video – leaving your house hoping your dog will go into your 350 degree oven. Okay, Hansel and Gretel.

  • usagi

    Nothing will stand between a beagle and food.

  • Sam Brees

    say what you want but that was very impressive

  • Jim Olson

    My beagle was this smart without training. He would have benefitted from some training, actually. He could escape from any cage or kennel, and we believe he knew how to pick locks.

  • LOL

    Why would anyone leave the house while food was left still cooking? Something fishy here.

  • Wildeye

    Oven was not hot so not quite as amazing as it might seem at first. Was more impressed by the chair, actually.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I have the same model oven, the grill tray opens when the door is opened so its not quite so bad as it might seem.

    But the dog could have been badly burned in the attempt.

    And why was there a camera there?

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