Clever Dog Figures Out How to Use Money to Pay for Treats, Sort Of

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s a dog in Colombia that would certainly argue with that. The clever pooch started paying for biscuits with tree leaves after seeing students pass banknotes to a food stall attendant in exchange for the tasty treats. He decided to try it for himself one day, and after getting the result he wanted, he’s been doing it ever since.

Negro recently became a social media sensation after a teacher at the Diversified Technical Education Institute of Monterrey Casanare, in Colombia, shared some photos and a video of the clever dog paying for treats with tree leaves. Students had apparently been buying the pooch biscuits from an on-campus food stall for a while, and after observing humans handing out money in exchange for the tasty treats, he decided to try it out for himself. Only instead of actual money, he used a much more accessible currency – fallen tree leaves.

Photo: A Peña J David/Facebook

“He would go to the store and watch the children give money and receive something in exchange,” teacher Angela Garcia Bernal told The Dodo. “Then one day, spontaneous, he appeared with a leaf in his mouth, wagging his tail and letting it be known that he wanted a cookie.”

Impressed with the animal’s understanding of commerce, the seller took the leaf and gave him a cookie. Negro took it as a confirmation that his currency is acceptable, and his been paying for treats with leaves ever since. As you can expect, he tends to overdo it sometimes, but the stall attendant limits his purchases to about two a day, mostly to make sure he doesn’t get too fat.

“He comes for cookies every day,” Gladys Barreto, the stall’s longtime attendant said. “He always pays with a leaf. It is his daily purchase.”


Negro was adopted by staff at the Monterey learning institution years ago, and he’s become sort of a mascot. Everyone loves him, and not that he’s a celebrity, they’re even more proud to have him.


“When you first see it, you almost want to cry,” Angela Garcia Bernal said about Negro’s shopping habit. “He’s found a way to make himself understood. He’s very intelligent.”

Posted in Animals        Tags: , , , , ,