The College Money Guys - December 2018

How to Make Your Dog Think You’re a Magician ‘WHAT THE FLUFF?’

Dog owners across the world are confounding their sweet pups with the latest internet craze, aptly known as the “What the Fluff?” challenge. For this puppy prank, the rules are quite simple. The owner stands in front of their dog and lifts up a blanket in front of them. As their pet looks on, the owner runs away and lets the blanket fall to the ground. From the unsuspecting

fun and games for humans, but a lot of dog lovers can’t help but wonder what is going on in the minds of their pets. Zazie Todd, a professional dog trainer who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, explains that the “What the Fluff?” challenge demonstrates that dogs exhibit object permanence: the understanding that objects exist even when

experiment reminiscent of “What the Fluff?” They showed a dog a bone, hid it behind a screen, and swapped it with a bone of a different color. When they revealed the new bone, the dogs spent more time inspecting the swapped-out bone than they did when the scientists revealed the same bone as before. Because the dogs were perplexed by the incongruity, the team concluded that dogs exhibit object permanence. So how does a dog feel when their owner disappears suddenly? It’s hard to say. Most animal cognition scientists are hesitant to hypothesize about something so subjective as emotions, but after watching the pups’ reactions on Instagram and YouTube, most experts deem the prank harmless. “What the Fluff?” is akin to playing peekaboo with a baby. Does it cause some confusion? Definitely. Is it destructive? Not likely.

pup’s point of view, it seems as if their beloved owner has disappeared into thin air! Some of the dogs stare ahead befuddled, some spin in circles, and others run around the

you can’t see them. Scientists have long known that dogs, unlike newborn

babies, understand object permanence. In 2013, a team of animal cognition scientists at the University

room trying to find where their owner is hiding. It’s all

of Kentucky conducted an


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