A clever dog has mastered playing the xylophone and can quickly solve complex brain-training games.
Sometimes the Cocker Spaniel is so speedy at figuring the puzzles out, often learning tricks in only 20 minutes, that his owner has to film him slow motion to work out how he does it.
In a video shared by Emily Anderson from Aberdeen, Leo the dog can be seen showing off his impressive range of tricks on command.
Emily Anderson from Aberdeen, with her clever dog Leo who plays the xylophone and solves complex brain-training games
Ms Anderson, a dog trainer, shared a clip where Leo can be seen stacking a tower of rings using his mouth in only 10 seconds.
He then proceeded to complete a bead maze with his nose as his owner instructed him to ‘push’.
In the video two-year-old Leo then responds to the command ‘music’, by picking up a small mallet and dragging it across a toy xylophone set up on the activity table.
Leo, on command, stacks multi-coloured rings on top of an inflated cone
Leo picks up a small mallet to play the toy xylophone when his owner instructs for ‘music’
Leo can then be seen stacking bigger rings on top of an inflated cone as the dog trainer says ‘take’.
Ms Anderson, 30, said: ‘Every day he totally amazes me. He’s a real dog in a million, I’ll never have another Leo.
‘The things he does constantly surprise me because I don’t think they’re possible and he masters them in 20 minutes.
‘I’ve been training him ever since I brought him home at eight weeks. I already had his half sister Phoebe so I actually met him when he was three days old.
‘The majority of the toys he has are children’s toys. I’m always on the lookout for something new for him to learn. Baby toys work well for him.
‘With the bead maze I had spotted it in a doctor’s reception and thought “Leo could do that with his nose”.
‘I was searching for a present for my friend’s child one day and then stumbled across the activity table in an Argos catalogue.
‘I thought the sticks were solid but it turned out they wobbled so I didn’t think he’d manage to do it. Lo and behold he had mastered it in 20 minutes.
‘I had to film it in slow motion so I could understand how he’d done it. He holds the object in his lower jaw and then manoeuvres it with his tongue.’
Leo slots wooden rings through a pole on a playset meant for small children
Clever Leo’s toys are often designed for children or babies
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.
Ms Anderson ramped training up after Leo almost died in March 2020, when he contracted a parasite called giardia.
She said: ‘I thought he was just sleeping under my desk one afternoon at work but when it came for me to leave, he just didn’t stand up.
‘Leo had gone into shock so I rushed him into the emergency vet. They thought it was Lyme disease initially but a few days later it came back as giardia.
‘It shouldn’t make dogs that ill but Leo had taken it badly and it sent him into shock. It was a horrible few days.
His owner says that Leo the Cocker Spaniel often learns tricks in only 20 minutes
Leo with his half-sister Phoebe (left), who ‘prefers weaving through targets’
‘Incredibly he recovered physically after only 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 from nowhere we were at home all of the time and he was just really sad.
‘He wasn’t like the happy dog he was before and I knew I had to do something to help him out of his slump.
‘I knew he’d always enjoyed his training so I decided to focus on doing a bit more of that with him and that’s how the tricks started.
‘The first thing we did was roll a blanket and then stack the rings and it just snowballed from there.’
Ms Anderson teaches Leo a new trick every week and builds them up methodically by making them slightly more difficult.
Leo is so quick that Ms Anderson has to film him working through tricks in slow motion sometimes
She said: ‘For stacking the rings I started by teaching him to hold objects in his mouth, then dropping them into a washing basket.
‘Gradually his target became smaller and eventually I got him to drop the rings onto the stack while I was holding it. It took about a month in total from start to end.
‘Some of them are using similar skills but using them on different objects. Leo is so incredibly happy when he’s training.
‘He’ll fall asleep watching TV afterwards but ends up waking himself up by wagging his tail so much.
‘Phoebe will do tricks for treats but she isn’t as keen to do the brain games as much, she prefers weaving through targets.’
Earlier this summer it was reported that Ms Anderson had also taught Leo to beat her in a game of Connect 4 and paint.
One of his pieces even sold for nearly £100 at a charity auction to a bidder in the US, according to the Daily Record.