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Gamer’s Service Dog Barks When His Frame Rate Starts to Dip

KANSAS CITY — Judah Johansson, an avid MOBA and FPS player, has trained his dog to alert him the moment his frame rate begins to dip.

“There are all sorts of dogs out there with real jobs — K-9 units, seizure alert dogs, seeing-eye dogs — and I realized that, as a Twitch streamer, I needed special help of my own,” said Johansson of his chocolate lab, Ping. “We started off simple. The dog came to understand when lag was happening by the way I’d slam my fist on my desk—something I had already been doing. From there, his sense only became more developed. Today, Ping’s skills are so sharp that if I load up in Halo Infinite, he just starts barking immediately.”

Ping can be seen on his walks, wearing an RGB harness with the numbers “1337” velcro’d onto the back. During stressful matches, he places a paw on Johansson’s right hand whenever he senses a frame rate dip, to not break Johansson’s concentration. During egregious DOTA games, Ping also knows how to force shut-down Johansson’s computer.

“I joined a Facebook group for people with therapy dogs, but they failed to recognize my condition as being ‘genuine,’” said Johansson. “When that went south, I found another group specifically for gamers with service pets. You wouldn’t believe the diversity in this community.”

Johansson was grateful to have found a place where he and Ping could be accepted.

“There’s even a guy with an African grey parrot that yells ‘bullshit’ when he dies in Call of Duty,” said Johansson. “It’s just nice to know I’m not alone.”