By Laura Dale
This dog as a PAW-SOME sense of balance.
Toby, an 11-year-old German shepherd husky cross, can hold almost anything on his head his owner can think up.
A master of balance, Toby has been pictured balancing balls, Christmas trees, and even the ingredients for a peanut butter and jam sandwich.
He also shows remarkable self-restraint by not immediately gobbling down the food his owner Pat Langner gives to him.
Pat, 55, a wheelchair bus operator and single dad, takes pictures of Toby at his home in Alberta, Canada.
He said: “When I was very young, I saw a dog balance a biscuit on his nose and when given the okay, toss it up in the air and catch it.
“I was blow away by that and could not believe it was anything other than magic.
“Later, when I got my first dog, the biscuit trick was the third thing I taught her, after sit and stay.
“I raised two other dogs from puppies before Toby. They could all do the same biscuit trick at an early age, like it was second nature, but not Toby.
“He had no interest in it at all. So for years we forgot about it.
“When he was almost seven years old, we were in the back yard and for some reason I had a couple of small cookies that he seemed quite interested in.
“So I thought, ‘what the heck, see if you can do it now Toby’. I asked him to stay and the rest is history.
“He doesn’t toss it up in the air. He just holds the things, in his mouth, on his head, or in his paws.
“I posted a picture of that second cookie on Facebook and my friends went nuts. It kind of grew from there.
“He learned the word ‘balance’ – and now I don’t even have to say it. He knows exactly what is going on.”
Once Toby had got the hang of balancing one or two objects, he quickly learned to balance others without much training.
The only difficult thing that required a little more training was a ball.
Pat claims Toby broke the milk-bone balancing challenge by balancing two boxes of 100 bones on his head. It was a better option than forcing him to sit for ages, according to his owner.
Pat said: “A few years ago it seemed to be a fad to stack large amounts of milk bones on your dog.
“Toby’s fans would post asking hi to do it, but I used to say no, because I wouldn’t ask him to stay still for that long while I stacked stupid bones on hi,
“To placate people we eventually got two large boxes and he balanced both boxes. We broke the record in under 10 seconds.
“The strangest balance was probably peanut butter and jam – the hard way, because it was the first that included four things, and one in his mouth.
“Basically if I can think of it he can pull it off, but food balances are by far his favourite, because they are their own reward.”