A SPATE of what appear to be canine suicides has animal psychologists in Scotland baffled. At least five dogs have thrown themselves off the historic bridge at Overtoun House in Dunbarton, Scotland, in the past six months. The bridge, which spans a 13m drop into a stream running underneath, is fast becoming known as Rover's Leap because of the lemming-like approach it seems to inspire in apparently well-adjusted family pets. "Dogs do not commit suicide. They have a strong fight-or-flight response," Doreen Graham, of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told The Glasgow Herald. Advertisement: "The incidents at the bridge are of very great concern to us because we would like to understand why they are happening." It is an inauspicious start for the new owners of Overtoun House, built in 1863 by a local chemicals tycoon, who are renovating the property as a Christian "hope and healing" centre. Joyce Stewart, a leading animal behaviourist and consultant to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she had heard of situations in which dogs that knew they were dying went into hiding, but had never heard of a dog committing suicide. She said the coincidence was "spooky" and called for an investigation of the deaths. "There must be some rational explanation for it," she said.