Bailey The Beagle’s Creative ‘Play Dead’ Trick Has Audience On Late Night In Stitches

Oct 12, 2021 by apost team

Dogs are delightful because of so many things— their love and loyalty being the top reason, followed by how cute and playful these sweet creatures are, and of course, because of their ability to be trained. This is something quite unique to pet dogs; while cats can be trained to do all the things a dog can do, they are not known for their cooperative disposition like dogs are. 

Knowing that dogs can achieve so much, many people begin training their dogs when they are puppies, and nowadays, there are even competitions that revolve around evaluating how well a dog can be trained to do things. 

Some dog breeds are known for being obedient and their capacity to train for complex and difficult tasks, like German Shephards sniffing bombs and drugs, or Golden Retrievers training to be therapy dogs. Some breeds are known for their stubbornness and difficult temperaments, however, like a beagle. But for Mike Bower from Buffalo, New York, training his beagle, Bailey, to do something like "playing dead" came easy and was so effective that he was brought on to show the trick to viewers on David Letterman. 

As the video below goes to show, playing dead doesn't just mean lying down on the floor as most dogs would. No, Bailey shows a new side of this special trick and has even Letterman in stitches as he tries to comprehend how adorable and funny Bailey could be. This video was filmed as part of the "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment in 2009, and even though the video is more than a decade old today, the trick can still make people laugh. 

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

In an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman", Bailey's owner Mike Bower first introduced the pooch to the world. He was a hit with the audience right away. At first glance, Bailey seems like a pretty run-of-the-mill beagle with all the sweetness compressed into the small stature of this breed. However, Bailey had a trick up his sleeve that was going to become a big hit across the nation soon enough!

Viewers get to know that Bower has had Bailey for three years, to which Letterman asks, "Are they good dogs?" He adds that he thinks that this particular breed can be "snarky" in its disposition. However, Bower has nothing but good things to say about Bailey, elaborating that beagles "have a mind of their own, but they're good dogs." Letterman and Bower chit-chat a little bit before revealing Bailey's trick though, and we learn that Bower is a bridge inspector, and Letterman, being his classic self, makes a few comments about the profession, and hopes Bower can win some money that night for Bailey's tricks.  

It seems a little cliche at the beginning that Bailey is going to "play dead" as a trick, but this is no ordinary dog. This handsome fella has his own unique way of showing that he has "died" and we've not seen anything like it. Bower gives the command but at first, it doesn't seem like Bailey heard him, so Bower readjust how he is holding the beagle and gives the command again. This time, Bailey heard his owner and plays dead.

In Bower's arms, without missing a beat, Bailey goes completely limp! Usually, dogs are on the floor for this trick and end up lying down, but Bailey takes it to the next level! Not only does her body go limp, but her adorably floppy ears have also seemingly lost life. Immediately as Bailey does this, he has the entire audience laughing at his cute trick and Letterman is thoroughly entertained as well. As Bower takes out a treat to reward the beagle for his awesome trick, he comes back to life but quickly goes limp again as he doesn't see the treat in his vicinity yet. 

As soon as he knows he is getting the treat, Bailey springs back to life and chomps down on it. The command is given once again and Bailey, once again, flops in Bower's arms, pretending to be dead. By this time, Letterman is in stitches and can be heard guffawing away in the background as the audience cheer on Bailey. "That was good!" Letterman muses between chuckles.

It seems as though Bailey loves the attention because the third time he plays dead right after the command. This time, Bower shows how smart Bailey actually is by picking up a limp paw and letting it go, which stays limp during the demonstration. This is one smart beagle! He performs the trick one more time before both Bower and Bailey retire for the night. "He's fine. That was great," Letterman adds as Mike feeds Bailey a treat for a job well done. The show then replays Bailey's trick in slow motion, showing just how wonderful a performer Bailey truly is. 

"Stupid Pet Tricks" is a "recurring segment, featuring all manner of domesticated animals performing feats from the mundane to the head-scratching," and "has been with the host since morning talker The David Letterman Show enjoyed its four-month run on NBC in 1980," as per Hollywood Reporter. Interestingly, the segment was first hosted out of a necessity to fill airtime with something more than just talking. However, as the years went by, it became a beloved part of the show for over 34 years and provided roughly 390 different examples of how absurd animals can be. 

"It's a challenge finding something that is safe and that we haven't done before," said John Klarl, who was "The Late Show's" talent coordinator since 2013. "Finding some online, there'll be times when it's almost too good to believe. That's when I'll email them back asking to video the animal doing it five times in a row without cutting." This gave them an opportunity to weed out some of the more edited tricks and bring in genuine content that had the potential to become a hit across the country. 

Over the years, there have been many videos that have tickled ribs and stolen hearts on this segment of the show, and with Letterman's retirement in 2015, the segment was also cut out when his successor, Stephen Colbert, took over the show. However, thanks to the magic of the internet, these segments can still be accessed by people who want to relive these hilarious moments once again. We think that Bailey's trick might be an audience favorite even today! 

Can your dog do a special or unique trick? Tell us about any special tricks your pets can do, and be sure to show this story to any friend who could use a laugh. We know that Bailey definitely cracked us up.

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