By Hannah Van De Peer

Meet “Britain’s smartest dog” – a border collie who knows the names of all 231 of his toys.

Martin Morris, 48, has been teaching seven-year-old Max the names of his toys since he was 12 weeks old.

Along with his wife, hospital cleaner Helen, 49, Martin has spent £1,115 on toys for Max – and now claims he can recognise every single one.

They shout the name of a toy – such as ‘Hector the hedgehog’ – from another room, and Max can root through seven bags of toys to find the correct one.

Martin, a taxi driver from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said: “Max is a very talented boy – we think he should be famous.

“We’ve got seven wash baskets, overflowing with toys. We’re at 231 now, and he knows every one of their names.

“You can test him all you like – even with toys that haven’t seen the light of day in a while. He’ll still recognise it.”

Martin and Helen adopted Max – born from two working sheepdogs – from a farm in Manchester.

Seven-year-old border collie Max at home with all his toys. (Pix via SWNS)

The “name game” has become a nightly ritual ever since – and the couple insist it keeps the pup sharp.

Martin said: “It’s taken us seven years to get to this stage – we read about the US collie called Chaser, who knows the names of 1,022 toys.

“But I don’t think any dog in the UK has managed to surpass 231 – making our boy the smartest.

“We’d buy Max a toy pretty much every week – Hector the Hedgehog, Sophia the Squirrel and Deeno the Dino, to name a few.

“And every night, before we go to bed, we play the name game.”

The “name game” involves Martin and Helen calling to Max from their bedroom, after lining a selection of his toys up on the floor.

They shout a name to him, and he has to run and identify the toy.

Martin says the hound has always been able to do this without treats, or any other incentive.

“We’ll go, ‘where’s…’ in an exaggerated voice – and then say the name of the toy.

“And off he’ll pop, looking for toys on the floor.

“He’ll smile at us afterwards, with this big smile that looks like a human’s.”

The couple have no plans to stop testing Max any time soon – and still buy a new toy for him every week. .

Martin added. “His favorite is Leo the Lion – he’s the first one we ever bought for him, and he still remembers him.”


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