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Amazing Balancing Act of the Dog on a Tightrope

Amazing Balancing Act of the Dog on a Tightrope

He never uses a safety net, and of course, he’s unable to carry a pole.

But today, ladies and gentlemen: step right up for Osbert Humperdinck Pumpernickle, the collie who never wobbles.

The four-year-old cross - Ozzy for short - has rightly claimed his place as Britain’s most accomplished canine tightrope walker.

See how he balances on hind legs on a highwire stretched between two trees! Marvel at his skill in traversing a rope with no visible means of support!

And now - applaud as he picks up his coveted Guinness World Record award for performing the fastest crossing of a tightrope ever to be achieved by a dog (a category, it should be said, in which there was surprisingly little competition).

For the record, he crossed a 3.5m (11.4ft) rope in 18.22 seconds.

The rare feat is just one of Ozzy’s many remarkable acrobatic acts, which also include swinging on a chain, freerunning along a narrow ledge, or balancing on his owner Nick Johnson’s shoulders as he cycles into town. For the avoidance of doubt, by the way, it’s Nick who does the cycling, not Ozzy - although it is surely only a matter of time before this particular dog masters two-wheel travel.

Ozzy, a chocolate and white border collie and kelpie cross, was born on a farm in Anglesey, North Wales, before moving to Nick’s home in Norwich. He showed an early aptitude for balance and seemed keen to improve on that tired old repertoire of standard doggy tricks, such as shake-a-paw and fetch-a-stick.

Nick, a 51-year-old carpenter, bought a book called Puppies For Dummies before enrolling Ozzy on a six-week training course and taking some tips from celebrated ‘dog whisperer’ Zak George.

His acrobatic antics were captured in a YouTube video that led to international acclaim and TV stardom.

Yesterday Nick declared himself ‘so happy and proud’ at Ozzy’s place in world record history, adding: ‘Ozzy’s parents are working sheepdogs on a farm, so it’s in his blood to want to work closely with me. He’s most happy when he’s working on the tricks that we do - he regards it as a game.

'We only practice when Ozzy is in the mood, after he’s done all his important dog stuff like sniffing around and meeting other dogs.’

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