An adorable Border Terrier has proved the doubters wrong after learning to play Connect 4 at the age of 11.
Bramble, who lives with dog trainer and behaviourist Jodie Forbes, has learned dozens of tricks including the classic 1970s game.
The pooch picks up the tokens and drops them in the grid using her ‘nose-eye coordination’, Dorset Live reports.
She now plays along with 11-month-old Kelpie and Border Collie Cross Willow, who also lives in Bournemouth with their owner.
Trainer Jodie, 25, explained: “When I was a kid, I read that Border Terriers were ‘untrainable’, ‘not to be trusted off-lead’ and ‘highly stubborn’ and I vowed to prove that wrong.
“Bramble has learned hundreds of tricks and her and Willow’s latest is to play Connect Four. “I started by using socks and a plastic tub and I’d get them to use their nose-eye coordination to drop the sock in a tub.
“Then I used smaller and smaller objects until they were able to pick the Connect Four tokens up in their mouths and drop them in the top of the grid.
“If a token falls on the floor or table, they know to pick it up and drop it in again. They’re such clever dogs.”
Jodie has been training dogs since she was nine, including for media campaigns, and has appeared at Crufts many times, showing her dogs and taking part in agility and displays.
She is a brand ambassador for pet food company Natures Menu and Bramble and Willow showed off their skills at the world’s biggest dog show at the NEC in Birmingham last weekend.
And for pet parents looking to teach their dogs tricks, Jodie suggests a simple ‘spin.’ “You get a smelly treat – I like the Natures Menu puppy training ones.
“Hold it between your finger and thumb above their nose and spin 360 degrees, and they follow it, do a spin then you give them the treat.
“Keep practising and rewarding so when you say ‘spin’ they do it.”
Jodie says dog owners want to spend more time than ever with their furry friends thanks to the bond they built during lockdown.
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Jodie said: “People want to try new activities and sports with their dogs because they were sat at home for so long and our dogs were such good company.
“We’ve connected more and after all that we’ve been through for the past few years; we’ve realised it’s fun to go out with your dog, enjoy life and feel good.”
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