Meet Leo, the hopscotching cocker spaniel who’s got game!

It took Leo two months to learn how to hopscotch without command cues. (PHOTO: Instagram)
It took Leo two months to learn how to hopscotch without command cues. (PHOTO: Instagram)

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that’s not the case for Leo, a three-year-old cocker spaniel who has mastered playing hopscotch.

The Scotland-based pooch has won thousands of fans after a video went viral of him playing on a colourful hopscotch mat.

In the clip, Leo, who weighs 17kg, hops and leaps between the brightly coloured squares of the mat.

His owner, Emily Anderson (31), says hopscotch has been “the hardest trick he’s learnt so far”.

“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.”

Emily never imagined Leo would learn the game, never mind play it properly.

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She was stunned when she saw him play on the mat.

“The first time I recorded it and saw it back, I thought, ‘What the hell?’” she recalls.

“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.”

While Leo can hop across six numbers at a time, there is an Australian German shepherd who can hop across four, “so only half of what Leo does, it’s also cued and he’s waiting for the cues”, she explains.

Leo on the other hand doesn’t wait on cues, “He’s just like, ‘Shut up and let me do it’,” she adds.

“Once he had the sequence of feet and limp, he got into the rhythm of it. He gets a treat at the end.”

But hopscotch isn’t the only trick Leo is perfecting. This super-talented pooch can also play tennis, perform CPR and paint with a brush.

As an experienced dog trainer, Emily uses clicker training, which involves the use of a small mechanical noise maker or clicker to positively reinforce the dogs’ behaviour.

“When Leo hears the click, it ends the behaviour then he gets the reward,” she shares.

Emily says Leo enjoys training so much he'd get sick from all the treats if he performed stunts too often. “He mainly works for his meals. It’s a really fun way of using his daily food allowance.”

After his hopscotching video went viral Emily received an overwhelming response from fans who are fascinated by her training techniques and Leo’s talents.  

“People have been asking how we do it. I never thought we’d get it as good as we got it.”

When Leo isn’t adding new talents to his repertoire, he enjoys hanging out with his half-sister, Phoebe, and playing in the park.

Sources: Metro, Mirror, DailyMail, New York Post

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