That’s barking! Cocker spaniel FAINTS with excitement when he spots ducks due to brain condition


An excited cocker spaniel cannot control his excitement at the sight of a flock of ducks and loses control of his body, keeling over with his paws in the air from ‘fainting goat syndrome’.

The owners of Peter say the cocker spaniel has an unusual neurological condition which sees him tip over whenever he gets excited – but he is unharmed by the episodes.   

While walking Peter around a Sheffield park with a duck pond the owners decided to film his reaction to the birds, predicting that the sometimes humorous effect of his condition would be triggered.

Peter is believed to have Myotonia Congenita or ‘fainting goat syndrome’ by his owners.

The syndrome is most commonly found in Mytonic goats, a domestic breed of the farm yard animal popular in Tennessee, U.S, whose muscles stiffen suddenly in a reaction to fear – with humorous results. 

It can also be found in dogs and humans however it is much less common. 

Signals from the brain through to the muscle membranes are interrupted meaning a sustained flinch or muscle reaction to fear occurs.  

The temporary paralysis only lasts a few seconds and is not believed to be painful for the animal.

In the video the dog’s muscle stiffness is brought on by the excitement of being close to the ducks. However, his owners say he has also had the reaction in fear.

His owners said: ‘Peter, our cocker spaniel, has a neurological condition which causes him to fall over at random moments, usually when he’s scared or excited. 

‘We call it ‘fainting goat syndrome’. Today the idea of ducks got him so worked up he froze.’ 

His owners can be heard in the video speculating over whether Peter will topple.

A woman says: ‘Ooh, nearly, he’s thinking about it [the ducks]. 

‘Oh there he goes, oh my goodness.’ 

A man can be heard saying: ‘It’s so bad.’ 



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