Harlso never struck anyone as the kind of dog who would be dazzling anyone with tricks.
He wasn’t into rolling over, couldn’t be bothered to come when called and didn’t even much like sitting on command.
But he did do that one thing that all dogs do — chasing after a toy and plopping it at his owner’s feet — and he did it obsessively.
One day, Paul Lavery, who, along with girlfriend Jennifer Scott owns Harlso, was casually throwing a rubber chicken across the living room.
“You know when you start throwing it a hundred times you get bored of it?” Lavery, who lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, tells The Dodo. “But he wasn’t.”
“So he was looking at me waiting for me to throw it and I sat it on the end of his nose.”
And then Harlso unleashed the one trick that had been waiting inside him his whole entire life.
“He froze and just stayed, stared at the chicken at the end of his nose,” Lavery says.
When Scott came downstairs, Harlso was still balancing the chicken on his nose.
“What did you do to him?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Lavery replied. “He just froze.”
Before long, Harlso’s spectacular balancing act propelled him far from the couple’s living room — and into worldwide acclaim.
Harlso’s Instagram account began drawing droves of followers.
“I wondered who would be interested in seeing Harlso with different things on his head,” Lavery recalls. “In a couple of days, he had a hundred followers and she was like, told you people would find this funny and interesting.”
“In a couple of months he had a thousand followers,” Lavery notes. “It started escalating. Then people re-posted videos and his image and videos were all over the internet.”
And how does this 2-year-old dachshund feel about performing for the world?
“He sees it as a game,” Lavery explains. “He gets the toy and gets treats, belly rubs and plays for standing still for the camera.”
And, in fact, Harlso typically only holds still for a few seconds before excitedly claiming his sweet reward.