One year-old cocker spaniel Peter has what is thought to be a rare neurological condition – and every time he sees another dog, or ducks – he simply goes rigid and topples over.
Owners Emma Clayton, 26, and Oliver Broomhead, 30, have dubbed the condition ‘fainting goat syndrome’ while vets call it Myotonia Congenita, a condition found in goats which sees their muscles stiffen when they are frightened.
But they say Peter does not suffer any harm when he collapses – and attacks can be brought on from simply enjoying his walks too much, other animals and people, rain or a change of texture underfoot.
Ms Clayton, a pharmacy assistant, told The Sun that she "panicked" the first time it happened.
She added: "When he gets excited or scared, sometimes for no reason at all, he just freezes up and topples over.
"As far as we know he is not in any pain - he is conscious when it happens, his eyes are open, he can follow me with his eyes, he just can't move his body.
"It depends on how overwhelmed he is, I guess - sometimes his body will freeze for almost 30 seconds."
She told the newspaper: "People's reaction is mixed - some people are horrified, I think they believe he is having a seizure, being in imminent danger but a lot of people just laugh because we do, too.
"We are so used to it now. We think it's slightly comical, so when they see us react they know it's OK - we do have to explain it quite a lot but once we do everyone just wants to love him. "