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Talented Aberdeen dog learns to paint – and his artwork goes international

Artwork painted by a talented north-east dog is being auctioned in an international sale to raise money for pets with cancer.

Leo the Cocker Spaniel has been busy learning tricks throughout lockdown, and now he has learned to paint and create his own artworks.

And his owner Emily Anderson, 30, says that although their art sessions get messy, Leo loves mastering new tricks.

“Since lockdown started last year we’ve become obsessed with learning tricks,” said Emily, who lives in the Forresterhill area of Aberdeen.

“I taught him to paint in March and then out of the blue got contacted to ask if we would do a picture for this online auction.

“It’s organised by a woman in Canada who runs a cancer support service for dogs who have lost a limb due to the disease.

“There are 15 dogs from around the world who have donated paintings for the auction.

“We are the only ones from Scotland, though there’s one in England a few in American and one in Australia I think.”

Leo’s artistic skills caught the attention of a global audience when Emily posted some photos of her talented pooch on the Do More With Your Dog Facebook page, a global group where dog owners share fun tricks to teach their animals.

At first, Leo was just painting freehand, but recently Emily’s friend has been creating stencils for Leo to paint over to create his name and other designs.

Emily with her two-year-old working Cocker Spaniel Leo.

“I lost my previous dog, a Collie, to cancer six years ago, so when I heard about this auction I was keen to take part,” she said.

But painting is far from the only new skill Leo has picked up over the last year.

With more time at home to spend with her pooch, Emily, who works as a horseriding instructor, has taught him all sorts of new skills.

“The very first one he learned was to roll himself up inside a blanket,” Emily said.

“He’s learned to stack rings, to put coins in a piggy bank and he can lift up his back leg and pretend to pee on things which is quite funny.

Leo performing his suitcase trick.

“He can also walk with Crocs on, he can zip himself into a suitcase, he can skip with me, play the triangle, play the xylophone and can play Connect 4.

“People think these tricks are really difficult for dogs to learn but you just need to build it up with small movements and they will get it.

“It’s a really fun thing to do and creates a great bond between you.

“We are learning ping pong at the moment.”

The online auction for the doggy paintings begins on June 4, with an opening bid of $45 for “Dogasso” by Leo.

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