Study Shows Canines Unmoved by Stunting | Last Page

Gone to the Dogs

By Jeff Karr, Photography by Bob Clarke

Bullhead City, Ariz., June 22—

The scientific community is reeling from the result of an extensive five-year study investigating the appeal of stunt riding to a broad cross-section of animal species. The result? Though chimpanzees, dolphins and pigs totally get the fun, thrills and excitement of stunt riding, dogs and most lower species simply don’t see the appeal.

It’s a surprising disconnect for Man’s Best Friend, a creature so in tune with humanity that it seems to know just when to steal from an unguarded dinner plate, vomit in front of the new girlfriend or let us know that Timmy’s fallen in that well (again).

For the study, Caesar Milan of TV’s The Dog Whisperer was brought in to interpret the response of dogs to wild stunting moves such as the Spinderella, Flamingo and High Chair Burnout. In some cases, researchers had dogs actually ride along in an effort to elicit some sort of response. The result? “The dogs simply don’t get it,” says Milan. “No matter how intense the action, dogs just don’t buy into the whole thing.” The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger, on the other hand (YouTube it for some scientific background information), though not considered to be particularly bright, has been shown to instantly abandon a freshly killed cobra to watch, transfixed, at a stunt show. Such is the mystery and majesty of the animal kingdom.

By Jeff Karr
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