Meet the Scots dog who has learnt to paint his own masterpieces

A Scots dog has learnt some important life skills during lockdown- and can now paint his own masterpieces.

Leo the cocker spaniel has painted 10 colourful creations, and even sold one for nearly £100 in an online charity auction to a bidder living 4,500 miles away in America.

His owner, Emily Anderson from Aberdeen, decided to teach him some new tricks at home to keep them entertained after becoming bored during lockdown.

The clever canine can also beat his owner at a game of Connect 4, as well as insert coins in a piggy bank, wrap himself up in a blanket, jump a skipping rope and play ping-pong.

Videos of the two-year-old pup have been posted online, helping him garner a legion of loving fans.

Miss Anderson, 30, posted the footage on social media, with Leo attracting almost 5,000 followers.

She said: “He could do tricks all day – and he picks them up scarily quickly.

“He just gets so excited, and he loves to paint.

“But I don’t know how he does it – he manages to stay completely spotless, while I’m covered in it [paint].

“It’s so messy, he doesn’t get to do it as much as he’d like to.

“But he’s done about 10 paintings altogether. Some of them are hanging on my walls.”

Holding the paintbrush in his mouth, Leo dips it in the pot to select the water-based colour then, using head movements, creates the brush strokes on the canvas.

He is also learning to use stencils, which have, so far, allowed him to paint his name and a heart.

Miss Anderson, who has been on furlough since the start of the pandemic, began teaching the spaniel a variety of tricks to stop them getting bored.

But it has also done wonders for her pet’s confidence after he almost died in the vet’s surgery when he was struck down with an unknown bug just before lockdown last year.

Miss Anderson, an administrator, said: “He was in critical care and the vet didn’t think he was going to make it through the night. But two days later he walked out like nothing had happened. But he was scared of everything.

“Now he’s so happy. He’s got his confidence back and is addicted to doing tricks.”

He first learned to wrap himself in a blanket and his impressive repertoire has gradually grown from there.

Leo can even beat his owner at a game of Connect 4, where he takes a counter in his mouth and drops it into the slots with exact precision.

Miss Anderson said: “It’s his favourite trick. He’ll go and sit at the cupboard and wait for me to go and get it.

Leo and owner Emily Anderson playing Connect 4

“We play about two or three times a week. It always amazes me how quickly he picks things up – and, once he has got the hang of something, he never forgets it.”

But she admitted: “I let him win.”

With the same precision, Leo – who earns a tasty treat after every trick – has set a personal best, inserting 12 coins in a piggy bank in 30 seconds.

He can also walk backwards in a figure of eight, play the xylophone and unzip a suitcase, jump inside it and close the lid.

In one of his more quirky tricks, he opens a medical bag marked “ Covid-19 vaccine” and collects an empty syringe, before using his nose to pretend to give his owner the jab.

Miss Anderson said: “He also pretends to pee on things, which is really funny.

“He just brightens up peoples’ day. My grandma’s in a nursing home and now the whole home waits to see his videos every week. He’s amazing.”

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