Bear the border collie is an internet sensation

BORDER collie Bear has become an international celebrity thanks to his amazing skills, from paying for drinks in a bar to correctly identifying his 80 toys.

The six-year-old’s first appearance on the world stage was in a video clip on the Mail Online website but since then his antics have been shared as far afield as Japan and Australia as well as in the USA.

Owner Sophie Goss lives in Guernsey but for the last nine years or so has worked in the UK as an Army combat medical technician and she and Bear travel back and forth together, although during lockdown they have been confined to the UK.

It was after Ms Goss shared a video clip on social media of Bear picking up his toys after each is asked for by name that the Mail Online contacted her and asked her for the rights to share the clip.

She now part-owns the rights with the company.

Ms Goss said she recognised Bear’s skills from soon after she got him: ‘When I picked him up as a puppy he was eight weeks old and he was already very in tune with what humans wanted. From probably eight to nine weeks he was putting his toys back in his toy box.

‘He was probably, I would say, six months old, when we clicked that he understood what some of his toys were.’

He now takes about two to three minutes to register the name of a new toy.

When the video clip was shot in January, Bear had 50 toys to fetch. As of the start of this month, he had 80.

But Bear is far from a one-trick puppy and helps Ms Goss by bringing the empty laundry basket to the washing machine, and will take a payment card up to a bar and pay a bill using contactless payment.

She once entered him in a dog talent show and he won two gold awards and three silvers while the other competitors did not win anything.

So talented is the dog that Ms Goss has had people suggest she audition for Britain’s Got Talent, but she is reluctant: ‘So many people have suggested it, but I don’t know if I would want to go that far.

‘He’s my pet at the end of the day and I don’t know if I want to showcase him to everyone.

‘The video is good enough publicity for people to see how intelligent he is.’

n To see Bear in action, go to bit.ly/3vWwD5i

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