This internet-famous dog can steady just about anything atop his head

By Benjamin VanHoose
October 15, 2019 01:27 PM
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This dog has one unusually Insta-worthy skill — and the internet is taking notice.

Nicknamed Harlso the Balancing Hound, this dachshund has a knack for balancing all sorts of object on his head, from succulents to soccer balls, cups of coffee to slices of pizza.

Harlso’s owner, 30-year-old Paul Lavery of Belfast, Ireland, discovered the hidden talent after he placed a toy on the pup’s head one day, watching as Harlso didn’t falter.

“When Harlso was 2 years old I was playing fetch with him at home. He loves chasing his ball across the living room and never tires of it. Whilst playing I set his toy chicken on his head and he stood still and didn’t shake it off. I couldn’t believe it!” Lavery told PEOPLE.

“A few weeks later it was Valentine’s Day and I placed a rose on his head and again he balanced it. That’s when we realized his hidden talent!” the owner added.

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Once they learned of their dog’s unique skill set, Lavery and his partner Jen Scott, 29, created social media accounts for Harlso. Today, the pooch’s Instagram has surpassed 100,000 followers. We “started the Instagram account as a bit of fun, never expecting it to become so popular,” Lavery said of Harlso’s viral popularity.

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For those concerned with Harlso’s well-being as he steadies new items on his noggin, Lavery assures he never uses anything “too heavy or dangerous.”

“He balances almost everything first time. We do this at most 1-2 times per week and never for any longer than 15-20 seconds ,” Lavery said.

Plus, Harslo associates the balancing sessions “with being praised and given treats and cuddles. Sometimes he jumps up onto a seat and sits still waiting to balance something!”

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The level-headed pup has not only taken over Instagram, but has made several television appearances and even inspired a calendar, with the balanced objects coordinated to the theme of each month.

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Lavery — who believes his dog’s rare talent isn’t one that can be taught — doesn’t know when Harlso will give up on his balancing abilities.

“One day we would like Harlso to break a Guinness World Record. In 2019 he won a Webby Award in the social animals category and was named Northern Ireland’s Social Media Personality of the Year!” he said.

  • with reporting by SUE CARSWELL
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