‘World’s Smartest Dog’ Dies at 14

The Australian Cattle Dog commonly referred to as the "world’s smartest dog” was a popular guest with Oprah Winfrey.

Skidboot, the Australian Cattle Dog who became famous for his performances on TV shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the “Late Show with David Letterman,” has died at the age of 14.

Like many of Hollywood’s most popular dogs, Skidboot started off life as another high-energy pet. Owner David Hartwig, of S.C., taught him tricks as a way to channel his energy.

Skidboot’s Hollywood career was launched when Hartwig sent a video of Skidboot performing tricks to Animal Planet’s “Pet Star.” Skidboot went on to win that show’s $25,000 prize.

The Australian Cattle Dog’s most popular performance was the stuffed-ball trick. Hartwig would tell him, “Now, on the count of three, I want you to go fetch that ball.” Hartwig would throw the ball, and count, “One, two, 11, 12, 13, 26…,” but Skidboot wouldn’t retrieve the ball until Hartwig said the number three.

Skidboot, who was frequently referred to as the “world’s smartest dog,” was also the subject of a book, “Skidboot: The Amazing Dog.”

To learn more about Skidboot, visit www.skidboot.com.

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