I taught my cocker spaniel to play hopscotch — and it’s his ‘hardest trick yet’


More like a hopper spaniel.

A dog owner claims her cocker spaniel could be the first pooch in the world to master hopscotch.

Emily Anderson, a 31-year-old dog trainer, has captured her precious pup Leo playing hopscotch.

She’s already taught 3-year-old Leo to paint with a brush, perform CPR and play tennis, but this trick makes him the king of the dog park.

“It was the longest it’s ever taken me to do anything,” Anderson told South West News Service. “It was a couple of months. It’s definitely the most difficult one I’ve done with him.”

In an attempt to teach him his “hardest trick yet,” Anderson — from Aberdeen, Scotland — bought discount store hopscotch numbers while looking for supplies for his painting skills. Gradually, she added numbered mats every week as Leo caught on.

Leo, a cocker spaniel, is full of tricks — but his new one has especially amazed viewers.
Kennedy News and Media

“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,” she said. “But once he had the sequence of feet and limp, he got into the rhythm of it.”

She captured the amazing trick on video, which has amassed more than 270,000 views and 16,100 likes on TikTok alone.

“The first time I recorded it and saw it back, I thought, ‘What the hell?’” she told SWNS. “I didn’t think it was possible but yet again, he’s amazed me.”

She said she’s never seen another dog play hopscotch like Leo does — moving on his own rather than on cue — inferring he could be the first.

“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,” she said. “I think an Australian shepherd does four [numbers], so only half of what Leo does.

“Leo can do it without the cues now. He’s just, like, ‘Shut up and let me do it,’” she joked.

Emily Anderson’s dog, Leo, gives a whirl to the children’s game hopscotch.
Kennedy News and Media
Leo traverses the brightly colored, numbered squares.
Kennedy News and Media
Leo’s owner said hopscotch is “definitely the most difficult” trick she’s taught him.
Kennedy News and Media
“Leo can do it without the cues now. He’s just, like, ‘Shut up and let me do it,’” owner Anderson mused about Leo.
Kennedy News and Media
Anderson, Leo’s owner, loves to teach him new tricks.
Kennedy News and Media

At first, Anderson uses a clicker, meals and treats to train her perceptive pup new tricks, although she’s cut back on the treats.

“We train so much, if he had treats all the time it’d make him sick. He mainly works for his meals,” she said. “It’s a really fun way of using his daily food allowance.”

Since going viral on TikTok with Leo, Anderson’s impressed followers have been asking for her dog training techniques. This trick in particular has caused her inbox to overflow with messages — “more than a normal video,” she said.

“People have been asking how we do it. I never thought we’d get it as good as we got it,” she continued. “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,” the proud trainer added.