A very clever canine has mastered the art of playing hopscotch.
Leo the cocker spaniel has been in training for months to perfect the impressive skill.
The three-year-old can proudly hop and leap between brightly coloured squares on his hopscotch board.Owner Emily Anderson, 31, has shared footage of the impressive feat, which is the latest of his many tricks.
The spaniel can also paint with a brush, play tennis and even perform CPR.Emily, who lives in Aberdeen, said: ‘It’s the hardest trick he’s learnt so far.
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‘It was the longest it’s ever taken me to do anything. It was a couple of months. It’s definitely the most difficult one I’ve done with him.
‘The first time I recorded it and saw it back, I thought “what the hell?”
‘I didn’t think it was possible but yet again, he’s amazed me.
‘This is one most dogs can’t master because it’s really hard. I have searched and I haven’t seen another dog do it the way Leo does it.
‘I think an Australian Shepherd does four [numbers], so only half of what Leo does. It is cued and he’s waiting for the cues.
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‘Leo can do it without the cues now. He’s just like “shut up and let me do it”.’Emily says she uses clicker training to teach Leo, and his reward is an occasional treat between meals.
She said: ‘I’m always looking for new ideas and Leo is definitely at his happiest when he’s learning something new.
‘He just loves it. It makes him so happy.
‘I was in a shop trying to find stuff for his painting when I saw the hopscotch mat. I never, ever thought I’d set him up and he’d complete the sequence.
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‘It was a set of 10 number mats. I never even thought we’d get to 10 – I just planned to get to five or six because we were struggling for so long.
‘But once he had the sequence of feet and limp, he got into the rhythm of it.
‘He gets a treat at the end. It’s all done by clicker training. When he hears the clip, it ends the behaviour then he gets the reward.
‘We train so much, if he had treats all the time it’d make him sick. He mainly works for his meals.
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‘It’s a really fun way of using his daily food allowance.’Since posting on TikTok to Leo’s many adoring followers, Emily says other dog-owners have flooded her messages with requests for tips.
But she claims no other dog has done hopscotch as well as Leo.
Emily said: ‘I’ve had loads of messages about his trick – more than a normal new video.
‘People have been asking how we do it. I never thought we’d get it as good as we got it.’
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Emily was encouraged to teach Leo his tricks after he nearly died in March 2020.
The puppy contracted a parasite called giardia and had to be rushed to the emergency vet.
But he recovered after a ‘horrible few days’ and found a new lease of life at his home in Aberdeen.Clever Leo can also play basketball, compete with Emily at Connect Four and play the xylophone.
He has thousands of devoted fans on Instagram.
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