We all like to have fun with our dogs. One of my favorite games with my dogs is hide and seek. I hide, and they have to seek me out. Sometimes I hide in obvious places, and sometimes I really challenge them. But how well do you really have to hide to prevent your dogs from being able to find you?
I decided to put it to the test (January 2011). I know that dogs do not have 20/20 vision as is considered “normal” for humans – even though many of us attain it artificially through the use of contacts, glasses or laser eye surgery. Dogs don't see things as clearly as we do, but they are much better at detecting movement.
So what would happen if I “hid” in plain sight but didn't move? Now, I'm not talking about standing in the middle of the room, that would be a bit too obvious. But what if I stand off in the darkened corner and don't move. I'm not hiding behind anything, so technically, I am in plain sight.
Here's what happens. . . I ask my dogs to “wait” in one room, while I head off to another part of the house and “hide” off to the side or in a corner, but not behind any furniture. If you walked into the room, you would easily be able to see me if you were looking in my direction. I call the dogs, and they come racing to find me.
They start by looking in the obvious places – where I would be if I were working or hanging out. If they don't see me there, they might look in the places I often hide when we play our game. Or, they run to another room to see if I am somewhere else. They stop and listen – they usually are not looking around so much as listening around for subtle noises I might be making to give away my presence.
In this case, I was in my bedroom, a few feet away from the master bathroom with the bathroom door closed. Since they didn't see me in the bedroom, they used their knowledge of past events to assume I must be in the bathroom. They stood outside the bathroom listening for me. I was standing a few feet away from them with nothing in between us. I made a very low sound with my mouth without moving any other part of my body. They still listened, but had no idea I was standing not more than 2 or 3 feet away from them.
Finally, I had to move slightly and when they caught the movement, they realized I'd been standing there the entire time!
If you want to have some fun, test it out with your own dogs. How much “in plain sight” can you hide (holding perfectly still!) without your dogs knowing you're there?