A cocker spaniel is so intelligent that he masters the xylophone and complex brain training games.
Stunning footage shows Emily Anderson’s companion dog Leo stacking a tower of rings using just her mouth in 10 seconds before completing a maze by pushing a bead with her nose.
Dog trainer Emily, 30, then said “music,” prompting the two-year-old to take a mini mallet and slide it over a toy xylophone on the same table.
Leo also knows how to inflate rubber rings using a combination of his mouth and nose before stacking them on top of each other in order.
Emily, from Aberdeen, said: “He totally amazes me every day. He’s one real dog in a million, I’ll never have another Lion.
“The things he does constantly surprise me because I don’t think they are possible and he masters them in 20 minutes.
“I’ve been training him since I brought him home at eight weeks old. I already had his half-sister Phoebe, so I met him when he was three days old.
“The majority of the toys he has are children’s toys. I’m always looking for something new for him to learn. Baby toys are a good fit for him.
“With the bead maze, I spotted it at a reception at a doctor and thought ‘Leo could do that with his nose.’
“One day, I was looking for a gift for my friend’s child, then I came across an activity table in an Argos catalog.
“I thought the sticks were strong, but they turned out to be wobbling, so I didn’t think he would make it. And there he was, he had it mastered in 20 minutes.
“I had to film him in slow motion so I could understand how he did it. He holds the object in his lower jaw and then maneuvers it with his tongue.”
Emily stepped up Leo’s training after his death in March 2020 when he contracted a parasite called giardia.
Emily said: “I thought he was sleeping right under my desk one afternoon at work, but when I wanted to leave he just didn’t get up.
“Leo was in shock, so I rushed him to the emergency vet. They initially thought it was Lyme disease, but a few days later he came back as Giardia.
“It shouldn’t make the dogs so sick, but Leo took it the wrong way and it put him in shock. It was a horrible few days.
“Incredibly, he made a physical recovery after just a few days, but it really affected him mentally and made him very anxious.
“We started to get back to normal and then we went into lockdown. So out of nowhere we were home the whole time and he was really sad.
Join our brand new TeamDogs website now.
Once there, share a photo of your dog in our Top Dogs to feed your brilliant first job.
Maybe when you’ve done that, leave a recommendation to help other dog owners in the TeamDogs community.
“He wasn’t like the happy dog he was before and I knew I had to do something to help him out of his doldrums.
“I knew he had always enjoyed his training so I decided to focus on doing a little bit more with him and that’s how the tricks started.
“The first thing we did was roll up a blanket, then stack the rings together and it snowballed from there.”
Emily teaches Leo a new trick every week and methodically builds them up making them a little harder.
Emily said: “To stack the rings I started by teaching her to hold things in her mouth and then put them in a washing basket.
“Gradually his target got smaller and I finally got him to drop the rings on the stack while I held it. It took about a month in total from start to finish.
“Some of them use similar skills but use them on different objects. Leo is incredibly happy when he trains.
“He will fall asleep watching TV afterwards, but eventually wakes up wagging his tail so much.
“Phoebe will do tricks for treats, but she doesn’t like puzzle games so much, she prefers to squeeze through targets.”