Super Cooper the cleverest canine

Cooper the shih tzu
Cooper the shih tzu

He is top of the class, a smarty pants and a really brainy canine – so could the Fylde pet which knows close to 60 tricks be Britain’s cleverest dog?

Cooper the shih tzu can count, stick his tongue out and point to yes and no answers – skills equivalent to a toddler.

The two-year-old’s talents have seen him rack up close to one million views on video-sharing website YouTube, while he has thousands of fans on social media.

And owner Kirsty Forrester, from Lytham, said there seems no end to her adorable pet’s talents.

The 28-year-old added: “I bought Cooper from a breeder in Blackpool. I was trying to work out what breed I wanted and realised a clever dog can be quite hard work.

“When I got Cooper I did not want to train him as such, but just give him basic obedience training.

Cooper with owner Kirsty

Cooper with owner Kirsty

“But when he picked up ‘sit’ and ‘shake paws’ within about five minutes of being home, I knew he was special.”

Kirsty spends at least 20 minutes a day training the cute pooch, with Cooper able to move plastic bones in the right order on a toy grid to get to his treats, as well as touch ‘yes’ or ‘no’ buttons to say what he wants to do. He is even part of a talent agency called Urban Paws.

Kirsty, a web developer, added: “I took him to a few dog training classes and he was just way ahead of the rest – he had to be given special homework.

“We started making the tasks harder and harder. He can now press yes and no buttons.

Cooper the shih tzu

Cooper the shih tzu

“I will hold a toothbrush and say ‘do you want your teeth brushing?’ and he will touch the no button. But if I ask him if he wants a treat, he always says yes.

“I think training him at a young age has really helped.”

Kirsty bought the then eight-week-old Cooper for £350 from a dog breeder in August 2013.

His Instagram account has nearly 12,000 followers and his Facebook page has nearly 1,000 likes.

When Kirsty uploaded a video of him sticking his tongue out on entertainment site Reddit, it was picked up by American websites including Animal Planet, which broadcast the video.

Kirsty said she has ruled out taking Cooper onto Britain’s Got Talent, admitting the format “does not fit” his skills.

But her friends and family, including boyfriend Nick White, 26, remain proud of his rising achievements.

She added: “Everyone is very proud he can do these things. Nick is quite impressed – he is very proud of Cooper.

“He really likes him, like most people do.”