Corgis might be known for their stubby legs, but this one in China stunned social media with his athletic prowess on the basketball court.
The three-year-old pet named Xiao Ba, or ‘Little Eight’, has been dubbed ‘the Cor-be Bryant of corgis’ by netizens after he is seen in trending footage pushing the ball with his nose and determinedly chasing his opponents.
Ms Gan, Little Eight’s owner, told MailOnline that the pooch appeared to have a particular passion for the sport and even taught himself some dribbling moves after watching people play.
The pet owner from south-western China’s Sichuan Province discovered Little Eight’s love for basketball while taking him out for a walk last summer.
While passing a local basketball court, the woman was shocked to see her corgi racing towards the players before joining them to chase the ball.
‘I was really surprised at how good he was,’ Ms Gan told MailOnline. ‘He would wait under the hoop to guard the ball and he even knows how to dribble.
‘I was initially worried that the ball would hit him,’ she added. ‘But I was relieved after I realised he would use his chest to nudge the ball away [to avoid being hurt].’
According to the pet owner, Little Eight never received any training and stumbled across the sport after watching people play.
‘I would only let him play with my boyfriend and our friends,’ Ms Gan said. ‘He usually spends about ten minutes on the court so that we don’t disturb the game too much.’
After the pet owner shared clips of the corgi playing with the basketball on the Chinese TikTok-like Douyin, the corgi quickly shot to fame and amused web users with his athletic prowess.
In one video, the short-legged pooch is seen running at full speed while moving the ball with his nose.
Another one saw Little Eight chasing his opponents eagerly, seemingly looking for the right moment to steal the ball.
The netizens likened the furry basketball lover to the late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, who died aged 41 when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, in January.
One viewer wrote: ‘The ‘Cor-be Bryant’ of corgis.’
Another commenter joked: ‘You need to send him to the NBA. Don’t let the talent go to waste!’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emilia Jiang