Easiest Solve For a Rubik's Cube | ... x
Easiest Solve For a Rubik's Cube | Beginners Guide/Examples | STEP 3

Goal:

The goal for this step is to have the top of you cube completely covered with white. Also each side will have a “Tetris” looking pattern. 

A cube with all white on top. Each side has a upside pyramid tetris shape of a matching color. A 'missing' sign next to it. The sign shows 4 white squares with their information underneath. Have you seen these dogs? They were last seen on layer 3. Please help!

Okay, so we are going to cover the entire white side with white pieces!! Pretty cool. Make sure you start by having the white side pointing up. view the cube at an angle as shown below.

Cube with a white plus on top, along with matching 2 colors on each side touching each tip of the white plus.

Let’s begin! Find the missing dogs!

So here’s the story. There’s a farmhouse at the top of a hill in the countryside. Four white dogs used to live there. The dogs went for a run in the countryside and have been lost ever since! The farmers who live there are worried sick! The farmers want their dogs to come back home!

The 4 surrounding white squares on the top of the white plus are labeled as 'farmers'. The isolated white square on the side of the cube is labeled, 'Lost Dog'.

A 'missing sign' showing 4 white squares with their information underneath. Each white square has a name such as Corner Piece 1, Corner Piece 2, Corner Piece 3, Corner Piece 4. Height: ~3/4 inch. Color: White. Have you seen these dogs? They were last seen on layer 3. Please help!

Find a dog

The dogs can usually be found on layer 3.  Focus your attention on layer 3. Look at all sides of the cube until you find a dog on layer 3.

The white plus on top is has 4 white pieces on each edge labeled as 'farmers'. The white square on the side of the cube is labeled, 'Lost Dog'. Horizontal rows are 3 different layers. The layer nearest the ceiling is Layer 1, The next one downward is Layer 2, The one near the floor is  Layer 3.

What color is the dog touching?

When you find a corner that has a dog, you will also notice that the corner is shared by another color. What color is it? Pretty easy. Just look at the white corner piece and see what other color is also part of the corner.

Cube showing white plus on top. At bottom is a white square on corner adjacent horizontally to an orange square. The dog is sharing the corner with orange.

Find the matching color side!

Don’t move the dog. The bottom layer will remain still. But we are going to turn the top two layers. Which direction? Doesn’t matter. Just keep turning until you find the side that matches the color we are looking for. It needs to match the corner color we have already identified in the last step.

Since orange shares the corner, turn layers 1&2 to the orange side. Hold layer 3 with your right hand. Twist layer 1&2 with your left hand.

Keep turning until you find the orange side. A cube with an orange corner as the same side as the orange side. It matches!

What direction is the dog pointing?

In our next step we need to move the dog. But don’t move him yet. First figure out which way he is pointing. If the dog is on the left side of the corner, he’s pointing left. If he is on the right side of the cube, he is pointing right. Pretty easy. There are examples below.

Examples of cubes with white corner piece in different positions. When the white piece is on the right side of the corner the 'dog' is pointing right. When the white piece is on the left of the corner, the 'dog' is pointing left.

Hide the dog (He’s scared being all alone)

You can’t just take the dog straight up to be with the farmers. Try it. It won’t work. It will push around the farmers and ruin your white plus.  So instead, we hide the dog first. He is scared and all alone, so he hides.

To hide him, simply turn layer 3 (the bottom layer). Which direction do you turn layer 3? Turn in the direction that the dog is pointing. Remember, when you hide the dog, only turn the layer once. The dog should disappear from view. And that’s okay. We don’t want to see him now.

Hide the dog by moving him in the direction he is pointing. Layer 3 is turned to the left so white piece is hidden. The dog shouts,'I'm hiding' from around the back of the cube. The white dog is hidden.

Farmer comes down the hill in search of his dog

We are going to have a farmer come down the hill. That way he can find his dog. But which farmer comes down? In the example below, we could turn the blue side or the orange side… but which one? Since our lost dog shared the corner with the orange color, we will turn the orange side. (In other words, the orange center piece will spin during this move)

Bring the farmer down by turning the orange side! Front of cube is rotated toward the position dog was before he was hidden. The farmer has come down! No a white piece is one square above the location where the dog used to be before he was hidden.

Dog smells farmer and decides to come out of hiding.

Turn layer 3 to bring the dog out of hiding. Just turn layer 3 one time and you should see the dog. He will end up right next to the farmer.

Bring the dog out of hiding! Only turn layer 3. Turn it toward the 'farmer'. The farmer found the dog! The two white squares should be touching now.

“Let’s go home!”

You probably already figured this next step out. Easy. Just move the farmer and the dog to the top of the cube.

The farmer takes the dog home by rotating cube so that the farmer and dog end up on top of cube. The dog is home again!

Rinse and Repeat!

Now just repeat everything we just did. All you have to do is find the other dogs until they all return home! Just start by looking at layer 3. The steps are repeated below:

(Note: If your dog is not on layer 3, refer to section “I can’t find my dog!” a little further down on this page.)

Find a corner that has a dog. In other words a white corner square on layer 3. What color is also on the corner? Green. So we will be dealing with green. Turn the top 2 layers(1&2) Keep turning until you find color. Layer 3(the bottom) doesn't move. We have found the green side. This is correct. Which way is the dog pointing? Hide the dog in that direction.(example: hide to right) Only bottom layer moves. Dog is hidden. Bring down farmer by turning side of the color we are dealing with.(spin green side down). Farmer is waiting. Now bring dog out of hiding. Only bottom layer moves. Farmer found his dog! Now they can go back home by turning cube so white squares end up on top.

Are you done?

The cube should look like this when complete. All white on top. Four sides should have a upside down tetris pattern of matching colors on each side

QUESTIONS/PROBLEMS —————————

I Can’t Find My Dog!

If you can’t find a dog on layer 3, then your dog is either on the bottom of the cube, or on layer 1. You can’t get him home unless your first get him to layer 3. In each example below, it brings the dog to layer 3.

PROBLEM: My dog is on the bottom of the cube

I checked all sides. Where is my dog? Dog is on bottom.

To get the dog on layer 3, just spin layer 3 until the dog is directly underneath a free spot on top. They must line up as shown in the image below.

Spin the bottom layer(layer3) until it lines up with a free spot on top. In other words, a spot that does not already have a white square. Line it up so the dog is at the bottom of the cube directly underneath the free spot which is on the top of the cube.

Now that it is lined up, push on the free spot with your index finger, causing the free spot to move down. Think of the free spot as a button you have to push to fix the problem here. The free spot will end up on layer 3. Turn layer 3 once any direction. Then fix your whites back to where they should go.

Push down on free spot to move it down. Free spot is on layer 3. Turn layer 3 once. Fix your whites so they are back on top.

PROBLEM: My Dog is on Layer 1

My dog is on layer 1. (the layer closest to the top). Turn the side that the dog is on. (just turn once). Force dog to layer 3. Turn layer 3 once to get dog out of the way. Dog is out of the way. Now fix your whites. Look on all 4 sides. Dog should be on layer 3. Now that the dog is on lyaer 3, go to the top of the page and use original instructions to get the dog home!

Done! You’ve found all the lost dogs!

If your cube doesn’t make the pattern in the image below, it just means you missed a step or there is more to do.

Note: If you have all white on top and the sides don’t match, it means at least one corner is wrong. Find the wrong white corner piece and push it down to layer 3, then spin layer 3 once. After that, fix your whites. From there, follow the original instructions at the top of the page.

The cube should look like this when complete. Four side should have this pattern. White on top and upside pyramid tetris shapes on each side.

Was it fun finding the lost dogs? Did this technique help?

It was a lot of work building this page. If you want to say “thank you”, consider donating here! It’s much appreciated!

Your 3 Minute Challenge!

A 3 minute timer made up cubes

Scramble the cube! Now see if you can accomplish all steps up to this point! Can you do it in three minutes? If you can, you’re awesome and you can move on to the next step!

“I am awesome and would like to go to the next step.”

11 thoughts on “Step 3 – Find the Lost Dogs

  1. I completed step 3. All squared on top row are white. But the pattern on the sides do not match the pattern shown. Have no idea how to fix this and move on to the next step. Help!

  2. Hi,my issue is the same as john’s.i have completed step three and got all the dogs to the farmer, but when is finished i got the top as white but all othere sides were not same as shown at all
    Plz help me,i cant proceed to the nxt step!!!plz help

    1. Happy to help. Dogs will never appear on layer 2. (Dogs are corner pieces.) If you see white on layer 2, it is not a dog. It is a car from “the Daisy” step. It means that you made an error on Step 1 or Step 2. No worries. Go back and start again. It gets easier!

  3. This is so great. As far as puzzle solving goes, telling a story to mask the logic helps in more ways than is tangible.

    I wish this teaching method can find its way into other subjects.

    Outstanding~

  4. Tavish, happy to help! This is a common mistake. When the dog goes into hiding, be sure he hides the direction he is pointing. (as shown in the diagram on that page) If he hides the other way, you’ll end up with the un-matching sides when you get all dogs to the farmers. Hope this helps!

    1. Ganesh,
      It depends if you mean from memory or solving using a guide. Using a guide, a beginner can probably solve in a couple of hours or less. Solving from memory might take a week or two. Just take it step-by-step, day by day, a fresh start over, a different cube to play. Only time will tell, but you know what they say, “We’ll make it better the second time around”. But once you have it memorized, you can solve the cube in a couple minutes. Everyone is different. Maybe some others here can chime in and let you know how long it took them.

  5. I’ve seen a couple of solutions that make a daisy first and then form the white cross. I learned to form the white cross first, which took more steps to correct the sides. The daisy is faster. But your placing the corners takes four moves. I learned the three move algorithm. I’m surprised you don’t teach that.

    1. Jim,
      Glad you noticed. There is a really good reason for this that I explain on the home page. I don’t teach the fastest solving method or even the best method. I teach the easiest solving method. My site is for those that are frustrated with the other methods and want the ability to actually solve the cube. thanks for the comment!

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