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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 20:19 GMT
Dog's tricks are 'better than TV'
Cindy the spaniel demonstrates one of her tricks
Cindy's 'piece de resistance' - balancing tubs on all four paws

An eight-year-old dog is amazing her owners and neighbours with an astonishing array of tricks.

Cindy, a pedigree cavalier King Charles spaniel, can balance objects on all four paws while lying down.

She can also keep a golf ball in a spoon held in her mouth while balancing objects on her head.

Proud owner Mark Bucknell, from Wednesfield, in the West Midlands, said: "Who needs the telly when you've got a dog like this?"

He said the family started teaching Cindy tricks when they took her in as an eight-month old.

Cindy the spaniel demonstrates one of her tricks
Cindy is also a dab hand with a golf ball and a spoon

Ron Bucknell, 75, said the family had run out of tricks to teach her.

It took her six months to learn to wait for her reward but, despite having undergone two leg operations since, her circus skills have remained intact.

Mr Bucknell had this advice for his envious fellow dog owners.

"You don't do the dog any favours if you leave it as a dumb mut.

"Put the effort in, get your dog some intelligence, get it to understand you will have yourself a better, more fun dog."


A selection of your comments:

Gort the dog feeding herself. Photo: Dave
Gort the dog feeding herself
Gort takes the screw cap off bottles and soon learned that the best way to get the treats out fast was to hold it as upside down as possible. I know that this is not strictly a trick and more self learned behaviour. It also means that we now have to hide all the bottles.
Dave, UK

Our dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, does a wide range of tricks. She will do the "usual" stuff like give paw, lie down, sit etc, but she will also speak on command, "sing", play dead, roll over, fetch her blanket when she wants to sit on the sofa, do a little "dance" on two legs etc. She will also go and get her toy and her Frisbee when we ask her to.
Astrid Svindland, Sutton, UK

We have a Pug who doesn't exactly do tricks, but has an amazing memory when it comes to music to trailers between programmes on BBC1. Her favourite at the moment is the "Sport Relief" trailer, where the family jog past and then their little dog runs past at the end. As soon as she hears the piano music for that trailer, she jumps off the sofa and runs towards the TV and jumps up and barks at the screen (she goes absolutely mad when the little dog comes on at the end) - but she's even started to run towards the telly when the same music comes on but for a different trailer (e.g. the one with the babies in the prams). Before that, the other trailer she always barked at was the one with the swimming hippos!
Richard Mills, Shrewsbury, UK

My dog is a two year old English Springer Spaniel named Zorro. He is currently living up to the reputation of his namesake with his most recent list of stolen items including three loaves of banana bread, a Christmas cake, 200g rump steak, and a pot of marmite. His speciality is the ability to open ANY bag (zip, velco, clip, buckle...) in order to get at chocolate. Interestingly, he is in a very healthy condition.
Ben, Wellington, New Zealand

My young cat, Jasmine, taught herself how to jump from the piano stool onto the plinth at the top of a tall scratching post - she was about 6 months old when she first did this. Now she does it whenever she comes from playing outside - as she knows she will get her treats in peace, away from her brother, who, being male is bigger than her. He was trained into how to jump onto this plinth when he was about a year old! (They are the same age.)
Helena Watkins, Leeds, England

I've managed to teach my dog to fetch beer from the fridge. He burst a few cans in training but i think we're both better for the experience. I'm with Mr Ron, "put the effort in"
Peter, Newtown

Probably not too spectacular but my cat likes us to play fetch with him and his ball. A bit more unusual is that he will, whilst carrying said ball in his mouth, jump up a six foot fence, tip-toe along a small joist onto the bathroom roof, jump in through the bedroom window, stroll along the upstairs landing, down the stairs and through the dining room into the lounge to then drop it at your feet. The whole time he is carrying his ball he will 'squeak' to let you know he has it and is ready for you to play with him again. He will go through this routine several times in a row before he lets us have a rest.
Kiltie Jackson, Staffs, UK

My terrier bitch plays tricks on my other dog. If she wants his spot on the sofa she sneaks off to the back door, barks once to call him. He then rouses himself from the furniture, potters off to the back door and at lightning speed she nabs his place. It never fails.
Dog lover, Cambridge UK

My parrot can turn off the TV. He pecks the red button on the remote. He must think its food. Very annoying. He can't balance anything though or ride a bike.
Jeff, Lincoln

Our house rabbit, Bob, is great at stripping wallpaper. The only problem is that he can only reach about 18 inches off the floor.
Martyn, Wakefield

My horse can play football, he will kick either a football or an bigger exercise ball around and back towards to if I kick it to him, he will fetch something throw for him and counts with his front feet. A friends horse will play a keyboard with his mouth and also push a ball around.
AV, Oxfordshire





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