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Harley's the pooch with perfect poise is internet sensation

Balancing act hound wins worldwide internet fame with his antics

By Ann W Schmidt

Published 18/11/2016

Harley shows he can keep a cool head
Harley shows he can keep a cool head
Harley with two Bounty bars
Harley with a spirit level
Harley with a lettuce
Harley with a toy postbox
Harley with three bread rolls
Harley with a ball
Jennifer Scott and Paul Lavery with Harley

In terms of going viral on the internet, one east Belfast dog is ready to take the crown - by balancing things on his head.

Harley, a two-year-old dachshund, has a great talent for balancing different objects on his head, like a sausage, a pineapple or even a stack of sub rolls.

His owners, Jennifer Scott (27) and Paul Lavery (27) discovered Harley's talent in February when Paul was playing with Harley and a toy chicken.

Paul said he put the chicken on Harley's head and Harley stopped moving.

"No one else was in the room and I was shouting for Jen to come down, because he just froze like a little statue."

Paul said Harley still hadn't moved a minute later when Jen got in the room.

"He's sort of learned now that if he does this trick he gets a treat. So any time we stick something on his head, he just sits and stares at it until we tell him he can shake it off and get a treat."

It wasn't as if Harley was trained. In fact, Paul said Harley is a bit naughty and barks a lot. "He can't sit on command, he can't give you his paw. He can't do any other tricks. But if you put something on his head, he just balances it."

Jennifer decided to make an Instagram page to showcase Harley's skills. Within a few days Harley's Instagram page, called harlso_the_balancing_hound, had 100 followers and the numbers kept rising.

Now Harley has more than 4,700 followers on Instagram and more than 2,500 followers on Twitter, but that's just his online presence. He's not actually very outgoing.

"He's very quiet and shy. And he doesn't really like big crowds," Paul said. "He likes to try to avoid going for a walk, but whenever he does walk, he loves it.

"He likes staying at home and staying warm. He's always trying to lie in the sun."

For Jennifer and Paul, internet fame has been hard to keep up with. "He's got fans from literally every corner of the world. We're getting messages in languages we can't understand," Paul said.

"It's a bit of a whole new world. And we don't really know if we want Harley to be getting mega-attention, just with a shy personality, because even when we're out in the park, kids will go down to pet him and he'll shy away from them... so I don't know if it's going to be good if he starts getting recognised on the street - if it goes that far. But we'll see what happens." For now, Paul said they are waiting for an application to try for a world record - most treats balanced on a dog's nose.

"That record hasn't been claimed by anybody, so I reckon we can get the wee man a Guinness World Record title. Maybe that's a bit too far," Paul laughed.

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