A German shepherd whose mom denied him a treat has delighted the internet by learning how to steal it himself.
The canine thief was caught on camera by his owner, Nicola McLaughlin, who owns a fashion boutique in Donegal, Ireland. Her video has reached 860,000 views since April 20.
The clip showed 7-month-old Hunter using his jaw to gently pull the handle of the cabinet containing his treats. After creating a slight gap, the “smart pup” nosed his way inside, took a quick look around and made off with a bag of treats in his mouth. The whole heist was completed in 17 seconds. As its soundtrack, McLaughlin added the theme song of the cartoon comedy-mystery The Pink Panther.
In the caption, she added in her beloved German shepherd’s voice: “If she won’t get me a treat then I’ll get them myself.”
“He always shocks me with how intelligent he is,” McLaughlin told Newsweek. “That was his second time opening the treat cupboard. The first time I thought it was a fluke as he was chewing the handle but then I saw him try again, so that’s when I pulled out the camera.”
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, according to the American Kennel Club, excelling in both dog sports and service work. With a sense of smell ranking near the top of all dog breeds, they are popular for jobs such as bomb and drug-sniffing, tracking work and search and rescue. They’re not the only dogs with good sniffers, though, as one “undercover” Chihuahua proved while working at an airport.
McLaughlin added that Hunter loves to steal items from countertops and always knows when he is doing something wrong, as he runs from the scene of the crime.
He is so smart, she said, that he sometimes bumps her around, carrying his water or food dish to her feet and barking at her when he is hungry or thirsty.
Not only does he love fetching a ball, McLaughlin said, he also enjoys kicking his ball under the TV cabinet and making her fetch it for him.
In the comments below McLaughlin’s video, viewers shared stories about their own clever German shepherds.
“Mine does that,” said one comment. “I even put it in a container with a lid, they got the lid off and one was in charge giving each one a treat. I was watching.”
Another added, “Shepherds. Just too damn smart for their own good. I’ve owned them for many many years. I had to bungee the refrigerator closed for years. Be careful.”
“They’re so smart,” a third viewer chimed in. “Mine opens the window and doors to go out. We’ve to lock everything when we go out.”
Others have said they couldn’t “resist the ear flop” of a German shepherd puppy.
And one viral video showed a German shepherd “adopting” her new owner.